WASHINGTON — In a recent amicus brief, the Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar sided with several agricultural trade groups in the ongoing US Supreme Court case regarding California’s Proposition 12 animal confinement law.

The National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) and the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF) filed a lawsuit with the high court following a ruling against them in July 2021 from the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

“We commend the Biden administration for taking action to stop ill-considered ballot initiatives like California’s Proposition 12 that undermine vital supply chains, national markets and consumer choice and further inflate food prices,” said Michael Formica, assistant vice president and general counsel for NPPC. “Additional supporters filed briefs opposing Proposition 12 and stood up to preserve the free flow of commerce among states to ensure consumers all over the nation have access to affordable, safe and wholesome food.”

Both associations submitted similar briefs to the Supreme Court in early June. They have argued that Prop 12 would impose an excessive burden on livestock producers and hinder interstate commerce. NPPC and AFBF both said it also violated the Commerce Clause in the Constitution. 

“The Solicitor General provides a powerful argument against the arbitrary production standards imposed by Proposition 12,” said Zippy Duval, president of AFBF. “It’s significant to have the Justice Department recognize the validity of our concerns and realize the unintended consequences of this misguided law. We share the goal of ensuring animals are well cared for, but Proposition 12 fails to advance animal health or food safety. Instead, it will make caring for animals more difficult and drive up the cost of food for families across America.”

Oral arguments for the case are scheduled for Oct. 11.