Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Alabama and Kentucky have joined in the Missouri attorney general’s lawsuit against California alleging that it is unconstitutionally trying to regulate farming practice outside its borders. With Missouri, those five states produce more than 20 billion eggs per year, 10 percent of which are sold to consumers in California.
California voters in 2008 passed Proposition 2 that, beginning next year, would regulate the size of the enclosures that house egg-laying hens. To avoid a potential competitive advantage to that state’s own egg producers, the California State Assembly passed a bill requiring producers in other states to comply with that law in order to sell eggs in California.
The suit by the six states asks the federal court to rule that California’s legislation violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.