The Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging California’s Proposition 12, a voter initiative requiring pork, veal, and eggs sold in the state to come from animals raised in environments where they can move freely, extend their limbs, and turn around. The question hinges on whether this sort of regulation by a state of products sold within its borders discriminates against or unduly burdens interstate commerce—a violation of the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. The proposition, passed in 2019, was an expansion of a 2012 ballot measure that applied only to in-state animals. Bans that affect products produced out-of-state in a manner prohibited by that state have been contentious, particularly those that relate to the sale of animal products. For instance, California bans the in-state sale of foie gras. But the state’s ban on the purchase, for personal use, of foie gras from out-of-state producers was recently invalidated by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
AWI urged the Biden administration to withdraw its support of the industry challenge to Proposition 12. If the court overturns the law, other state statutes affecting out-of-state products may be invalidated as well.