By Julie Harker, Brownfield Ag News
Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case against California’s egg production law. Hawley is joined in the appeal by five other states: Iowa, Nebraska, Alabama, Kentucky and Oklahoma to fight what he calls onerous regulations.
“They directly affect and directly harm farmers, especially poultry farmers in our state. And, the thing is, these laws are unconstitutional. The (U.S.) constitution doesn’t allow California to regulate Missouri and we’re going to the Supreme Court to stop it,” says Hawley.
The 9th Circuit Appeals Court ruled last year that the states had no standing. Hawley disagrees, saying the law dictates farm production standards for producers in other states, which is unconstitutional and would open the door even further.
“So if California is able to get by with this regulation,” says Hawley. “If they’re able to tell Missouri and other states what to do, rest assured that other states – usually big government, liberal states, will try the same sort of thing and that’s why we have to fight now.”
California voters approved a ballot initiative in 2008 requiring egg laying hens in that state to have enough space to extend their limbs and lay down. In 2010, California legislators expanded the law to ban the sale of eggs from hens that were not raised in accordance with that standard.