The federal government and 21 state attorneys general have joined the North American Meat Institute in asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear its rejection of NAMI’s appeal of a decision that had the effect of upholding California’s animal housing law, commonly known as Proposition 12.

The United States’ brief supporting rehearing en banc of the court's three-page decision in October, which said the district court was justified in rejecting a preliminary injunction request, says Prop 12 could drive up prices for the Emergency Food Assistance Program and “reduce the buying power of benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.”

The law, which bans the sale of pork, veal and eggs from animals raised below minimum square-feet requirements, would disadvantage out-of-state producers, the government argued.

The law “prevents out-of-state pork producers from employing more efficient and cost-effective farming practices,” the government said in its brief.

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In addition, “Because Proposition 12 has the practical effect of controlling conduct outside California and does not regulate to promote a legitimate in-state interest, it violates the Commerce Clause.”

The states that filed an amicus brief supporting NAMI are: Indiana, Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Georgia, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming.

A separate appeal in the same court has been filed by the National Pork Producers Council and American Farm Bureau Federation, but that case won’t be heard until next year. In that matter, the groups are appealing an order dismissing their lawsuit.

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