JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has renewed his push to have the federal courts declare California’s agriculture policies unconstitutional.
It’s a battle some states have been fighting for three years. The state of california sets strict standards for the treatment of egg-producing chickens, and won’t allow eggs to come in from any state that does not meet those standards.
“So, I’m gonna asked the Supreme Court of the United states to enforce our constitution,” Hawley announced Monday.
Hawley says the California standards violate the commerce clause of the constitution, which gives congress exclusive authority to regulate commerce among and between states. Last winter, a panel of the ninth circuit court ruled that missouri and the other plaintiffs lacked standing to pursue their claims.
“I’m asking the Supreme Court of the United States to strike down California’s illegal, unconstitutional attempt to control farming in the state of Missouri.”
In 2016, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Missouri and the other plaintiff states lacked standing to pursue their claims. Hawley said Monday’s filing in the U.S. Supreme Court answers the issue by providing a careful economic analysis that establishes the impact of these burdensome regulations.
Eleven other stated have joined the state of Missouri in the suit: Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah and Wisconsin.
While Hawley has the support of the Republican majority at the state capitol, Democrats there have their own farming agenda.
“Multi-national ag conglomerates are extracting the wealth that is being creating by the working people of Missouri and shipping it out of our state,” said Stephen Webber, chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party.
Democrats propose a bill of rights to end the foreign ownership of farm land in Missouri and give control of confined animal feeding operations back to local communities.
“Local communities should have the right to protect themselves from the negative health and environmental impacts that CAFO’s have on family farms,” said Rep. Martha Stevens (D-Columbia).
Similar arguments were not successful in preventing the adoption of a right-to-farm constitutional amendment by Missouri voters.
(KCRG for CBS News)