United States Supreme Court Hears a Challenge to California’s Law Banning the Sale of Pork from Pigs Confined in Gestation Crates

The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 12 (“Prop 12”), a law which amends the California Health and Safety Code to prohibit the sale of pork from animals raised in extreme confinement. According to the pork industry trade associations and farmers challenging the law, Prop 12 places an undue burden on interstate commerce because it forces hog farmers in other states to comply with California’s requirements regarding animal confinement. Justice Clarence Thomas disagreed, noting “it's about products being sold in California. Unlike some of the cases you cite, it's not reaching out and regulating something across state lines or regulating prices.” The Animal Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of animal protection groups have intervened in the case, arguing that “[s]tates have the right to pass laws that protect animals and the public.” A ruling is due by the end of June 2023.