Biden on Prop 12:

Jun 24, 2022

Earlier this week, the Biden administration linked arms with ag groups and sent a clear message to the Supreme Court: “Prop 12’s gotta go.”(And the pork-producing crowd goes wild)

“Quick” refresher (buckle up): Proposition 12 requires that pork sold in California must come from hogs born of sows raised with specific housing/space requirements—including out-of-state pork sold to Californians.

And with less than 4% of U.S. sow housing meeting those requirements, that’s a big problem.

After passage in 2018, ag groups quickly challenged it, stating it violated the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause. But in July 2020, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said, “Nah… we think it’s fine.”

Implementation was delayed. Then back in September, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear the ag groups’ petition for higher review.

Friendly brief: As multiple ag groups file amicus briefs with the court, U.S. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar joined in and filed a “friend of the court” brief of her own.

Her thoughts? Prop 12 violates the interstate commerce clause, and the 9th Circuit Court done messed up.

Citing a past high court decision, she noted: “[California] ‘has no legitimate interest in protecting’ the welfare of animals located outside the state.”

Where this goes: The administration can’t tell the court what to do (thank you, separation of powers), but ag groups and Biden are hoping this “gentle nudge” will point them in the right direction.

Oral court arguments are scheduled for October 11.