Missouri, Arkansas launch new legal challenge to California egg law
"We are going to the Supreme Court of the United States this morning to file suit against the State of California to block California's attempt to impose it's anti-agriculture regulations on farmers here in the state of Missouri," Attorney General Josh Hawley told attendees of the Missouri Farm Bureau convention Monday morning.
Those regulations Hawley mentions are in regards to the sale of eggs in the State of California. A law that went into effect nearly three years ago made it that any egg sold in the state of California must have come from a hen who's cage was large enough to allow it to stretch out.
Hawley says since 2015 it has cost consumers nationwide nearly $350 million dollars per year, and also said that law is unconstitutional.
""It's unconstitutional. Also at stake here is an important principle that one state cannot impose it's laws on another state, and that's true no matter what the substance is," Hawley said. "It doesn't matter if it's farming regulations or anything else, but in this case, the farming regulations will badly hurt Missouri farmers and Missouri consumers."
At an event unveiling a "Farmer's Bill of Rights," Stephen Webber, the chair of the state Democratic party, says this lawsuit isn't enough to help farmers here in the state.
"If Josh Hawley is serious about standing up for family farmers, he can sign on to the Missorui Farmer's Bill of Rights," Webber said.
However, some farmers who attended the Missorui Farm Bureau convention this morning where AG Hawley made his announcement feel this is a step in the right direction.
"I'm all in favor of the lawsuit. I think it's long overdue. We can't let other states dictate what everybody else does," said Knox City resident Rhett Humziker.
"I think we need equal access for our product just like any place else, and I think the poultry industry does a good job of humanely raising eggs and processing them," said Monett resident Duane Kaiser. "I think they need equal access and shouldn't be restricted from the market."
There is no word on when this will be heard by the Supreme Court, but we will continue to follow it as it does.
-- A dozen states want the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages.
The Missouri attorney general says a lawsuit will be filed Monday alleging California's law has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually because of higher egg prices since it took effect in 2015.
The lawsuit claims California's requirements violate the U.S. Constitution's interstate commerce clause and are pre-empted by federal law.
A federal appeals court panel rejected similar claims last year in a separate case brought by six states. The Missouri attorney general says the new lawsuit is bolstered by an economic study.
Other plaintiffs are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin.
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