The U.S. Supreme court is set to hear pork producers’ legal challenge of California Prop 12 by the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC). Prop 12 is a 2018 HSUS-backed California ballot measure that defines the housing currently used by virtually all United States pork producers as “cruel,” and prohibits the sale of pork from said producers in the state of California.
This ballot measure and its standards were pushed by several activist fundraising groups with no expertise in raising animals. Groups that would, for the most part, prefer simply to ban animal agriculture than regulate it. Unless you are a vegan yourself, they’re probably not the type of folks you’d want to have in charge of animal care standards (“The truth [is] animal rights requires empty cages, not larger cages.”). That alone raises a lot of red flags, but what the NPPC is focusing on in their legal challenge is whether Prop 12 violates the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which places restrictions on states’ ability to regulate commerce outside their borders. Given that California consumes 15 percent of the country’s pork products, and imports the vast majority of said pork, it is impossible to argue that the effects of Prop 12 do not reverberate outside the state. Whether these reverberations violate the Commerce Clause will now be determined by the U.S. Supreme Court.