WASHINGTON — Several Democratic senators recently asked Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar to support California’s Proposition 12 before the US Supreme Court. The case is National Pork Producers Council v. Ross.
Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-Calif.), Sen. Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) were among the 16 legislators to sign the letter.
“Expanding the Commerce Clause as the National Pork Producers Council seeks to do in this case would have ramifications far beyond the pork, egg and veal industries,” the senators wrote. “Proposition 12 only regulates in-state sales of egg, pork and veal products and does not regulate out-of-state producers, but the NPPC’s argument claims a state law is unconstitutional any time it could indirectly cause businesses to adjust out-of-state operations. If adopted, this ruling could allow large, multi-state corporations to evade numerous state laws that focus on harms to their constituents, including those addressing wildlife trafficking, climate change, renewable energy, stolen property trafficking and labor abuses.”
In March, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a constitutional challenge to Prop 12.
The high court took up the case on appeal from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, which in July 2021 upheld a lower court ruling against a lawsuit filed by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF).
Nearly two-thirds of California voters approved Prop. 12 in 2018, and the law has survived several court challenges to date.