National Pork Producers’ Council v. Ross
National Pork Producers’ Council v. Ross is a case brought by The National Pork Producers Council and the American Farm Bureau Federation to challenge California’s Prop 12, a law regulating the sale of pork products that were created under inhumane conditions. The National Pork Producers Council argues that Prop 12 is unconstitutional because it violates what’s called the “dormant commerce clause”. The Commerce Clause says that Congress is responsible for regulating commerce among the states, and that provision has been read to restrict states from regulating their own commerce in ways that discriminate against other states. The Council argues that this law discriminates by requiring the sale of pork only under certain conditions. They suggest that eventually all states would have to use California’s guidelines if they want to sell pork.
If the National Pork Producers’ Council wins, the law is struck down and they can continue selling pork even under circumstances California doesn’t approve of.
If Karen Ross wins, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture wins, the pork producers and some other industry groups argue it would be disastrous for buyers and sellers of pork and the price would rise, but humane societies and other organizations argue that there would be no massive change and the standards would make pork more healthy.
Lurking beneath all of this is another important national implication: suggested here. The argument is simple: the “dormant Commerce Clause” theory would prevent states from blocking the right to travel from other states, among other things that would discriminate against another state. That would allow people seeking abortion from red states to more easily get one in a welcoming blue state without the red state’s ability to block it.