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Missouri asks U.S. Supreme Court intervention in California egg case

A dozen states are going to the U.S. Supreme Court to challenge California’s law requiring egg producers from other states to comply with California farming regulations.  The suit claims California’s regulations violate federal law prohibiting states from imposing their own standards on eggs produced in other states.

The regulations in California governing egg production say, among other things, that any eggs brought into California to be sold cannot be produced by hens in battery cages.  that’s a burden on egg producing farmers, according to Josh Hawley, attorney general in Missouri, the state leading the effort.

“[Egg producers are] facing huge compliance costs, having to completely change their farming operations,” Hawley told reporters Monday during the Missouri Farm Bureau convention at the Lake of the Ozarks.  Hawley wants California’s egg production law changed.  “Essentially it means they can’t use cages any longer in their farming with chickens, which is common in our state.”

The California regulation has an impact on Missouri and other states that send eggs to California.

“And get this,” said Hawley, “30 percent of Missouri eggs are exported to California – 30 percent – so it’s a huge share.”

The state of Missouri is joined in the challenge by 11 other states: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, and Wisconsin.

A similar suit filed in U.S. District Court was ruled in 2016 to not have standing, but Hawley says taking this case to the nation’s highest court will satisfy that.

“When a state sues another state,” Hawley explained, “the appropriate venue is the Supreme Court of the United States.”

AUDIO: Josh Hawley (5 min. MP3)

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