California Egg Law Upheld by Federal Court

A US District Court judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Missouri’s Attorney General Chris Koster and joined by attorneys general from five other states that challenged a California law addressing the housing of egg-laying hens. The law in question mandates that all eggs sold in California come from hens provided enough space to lie down, stand up, fully extend their wings, and turn around freely. The attorneys general argued that the law would harm their states’ citizens because it would impose new and costly regulations on out-of-state producers, and as such violated the Commerce Clause of the US Constitution. They claimed standing to sue to protect "their citizens' economic health and constitutional rights.” Federal judge Kimberly Mueller disagreed, saying that "It is patently clear plaintiffs are bringing this action on behalf of a subset of each state's egg farmers, not on behalf of each state's population generally." The law is scheduled to take effect in 2015.

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