Pork industry focused on challenge to Prop 12

Market to Market | Clip
Jun 10, 2022 | 2 min

The Supreme Court will hear a challenge to California's Prop 12 this fall.


The 2022 Pork Expo returned to the Iowa State Fairgrounds in Des Moines, Iowa this week, and the sunny skies belied a potentially cloudy forecast for a legal case that hangs over the industry.

At the annual event, officials with the National Pork Producers Council laid out their challenge to California’s controversial Proposition 12. The 2018 ballot initiative mandates minimum space requirements for breeding sows, and other farm animals, that produce offspring which are eventually sold as meat in the Golden State. However, after nearly four years, no specific regulations have been finalized. The NPPC’s lawsuit has been considered to have merit and will be on the docket to be argued before the United States Supreme Court in the coming session.   

Michael Formica, General Counsel, NPPC: “It is as close to a per se a case of an unconstitutional final extraterritorial law is you're going to find the you know, the first type of this case that the Supreme Court has taken up in literally decades. You have the state that produces zero pork, that passed a regulation, passed a law with the intent of applying that outside of the state and imposing its will on pork producers that are 100% located outside the state. And that is not allowed under the US Constitution.”

The case will hinge on the limits of the laws of one state affecting business practices in other states.  

Michael Formica, General Counsel, NPPC “Iowa can have its own laws regulating its own citizens and its own businesses. New York can have its own laws regulating its own citizens and its own businesses in And another state can't impose its regulatory reach into those states. W feel very confident in our chances and look forward to bringing our case to the Supreme Court.”

          The Supreme Court calendar for the 2022-2023 session has yet to be released. 

For Market to Market, I’m Peter Tubbs