SCOTUS Hears Pork Industry Challenge to Calif. Law

On Tuesday, SCOTUS heard arguments in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, a case where pork producers are challenging a Calif. law that requires pork sellers to raise pigs in pens where they can roam freely.

SCOTUS Hears Pork Industry Challenge to Calif. Law
Image credit: USA Today

Facts

  • On Tuesday, SCOTUS heard arguments in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, a case where pork producers are challenging a Calif. law that requires pork sellers to raise pigs in pens where they can roam freely.
  • California voters approved the law in 2018 with nearly 63% of the vote (a margin of more than 3M votes), and it was due to take effect this year. Voters were told the law would most likely increase the price of pork while providing more humane living conditions for pigs.
  • Pork producers say complying with the law will cost the industry between $290-$350M - costs they would have to pass onto consumers in California and nationwide.
  • Although Californians account for 13% of the nation's pork consumption, the state has few pig farms. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) has described the law as a "war on breakfast."

Sources: Business Insider, NBC, Townhall, and USA Today.

Narratives

  • Left narrative, as provided by LA Times. Inhumane animal confinement for pigs and other livestock is immoral, and it threatens the health and safety of consumers by compromising the immune systems of the animals we’re eating. The pork industry’s suit challenges the power of the people - Californians who voted the law into effect - in addition to taking animal rights backward.
  • Right narrative, as provided by Wall Street Journal. California lawmakers often presume they know what's best for everyone. However, this law disproportionately and unfairly affects the rest of America. With more than 99% of the pork consumed in California coming from out of state, farmers in 49 other states shouldn't have to bear the brunt of the financial burden of this law.

Predictions