Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley announced Monday his office is renewing efforts to challenge California’s law for the sale of eggs in that state.
Hawley is being joined by 11 other states in an appeal before the Supreme Court that California’s law violates federal statute and the U.S. Constitution.
The filing contends states are prohibited from imposing their own standards on how eggs are produced in other states. It also says the California law violates the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, which gives Congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states.
Hawley spoke this morning at the Missouri Farm Bureau Annual Meeting at the Tan-Tar-A resort in mid-Missouri’s Osage Beach. In a statement, he said the California regulation is a case of government overreach that harms Missouri farmers and consumers.
“These regulations are unconstitutional and a clear attempt by big-government proponents to impose job-killing regulations on Missouri,” Hawley said. “This discrimination against Missouri farmers will not stand. I will continue to defend our farmers and protect the interests of Missouri consumers.”
Hawley was joined in February by five other states in appealing a 2016 decision by a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court that Missouri and the other plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims. He said Monday’s filing with the high bench addresses the lower court’s decision by providing an economic analysis of how the California regulation impacts the other states.
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.
The 11 other states joining Missouri in the updated appeal are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin.