California’s Prop 12 Supreme Court challenge supported by 20 states

States agree that Proposition 12's animal product standards will break down interstate commerce


Jacqui Fatka, BEEF Magazine

Mar 31, 2021


In an ongoing effort to protect states’ rights under the Commerce Clause, 20 states filed an amicus curiae brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the petition filed by the North American Meat Institute challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12.


Enacted in November 2018, Californian voters approved Proposition 12 which imposes space requirements regarding breeding pigs and veal calves within California. Prop 12 creates a barrier to trade by imposing obligations on out-of-state competitors in an effort to assist local producers of pork and veal, the Meat Institute challenges.


Prop 12 reaches beyond the state’s borders by prohibiting the sale in California of uncooked pork or veal from animals housed in ways that do not meet California’s requirements. As a result, Prop 12 sets confinement standards for how pigs and veal calves are raised anywhere in the United States or in any foreign country.


“The governments of nearly half the states agree, if California is allowed to apply its laws to conduct in other states, a single state will dictate policies in all others, encouraging a patchwork of regulations and threatening the free flow of interstate commerce,” says Meat Institute President and CEO Julie Anna Potts...