Mizzou vs. CA egg fight

One reason for the long prosperity of the United States is that the country is a vast free-trade zone. Whatever the trade policies toward other countries over the years — protectionist or free trade — 330 million Americans can trade with one another under uniform rules.

That’s why Missouri is challenging California egg protectionism:

Missouri’s attorney general has asked a federal court to strike down a California law regulating the living conditions of chickens, setting up a cross-country battle that pits new animal protections against the economic interests of Midwestern farmers. 

The lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster takes aim at a California law set to take effect in 2015 that prohibits eggs from being sold there if they come from hens raised in cages that don’t comply with California’s new size and space requirements.

If the law goes into effect, it will limit competition for California egg producers, allowing them to raise prices on California consumers.

Federal courts will decide the issue. The key section of the U.S. Constitution is the Commerce Clause, which grants only to Congress, not the states, the power “to regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among several States, and with the Indian Tribes.”

Even states’ rights proponents, who favor returning power to the states in most areas, don’t disagree on this one. The Constitution is clear and, despite some deviations over the years, the Commerce Clause has allowed mostly open free trade among the several states.

There are some exceptions, but only for special reasons. For example, California mandates special formulas for automobile gasoline. But that’s allowed because of the state’s unique problems with pollution in the Los Angeles basin. Such exceptions have nothing to with markets for common commodities.

So once again, California’s politicians could end up with egg on their faces.

2 comments

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  1. LetitCollapse
    LetitCollapse 5 February, 2014, 11:48

    The price of eggs have skyrocketed in the last year or so. I could buy a dozen medium eggs 12 months ago for $0.99. That price is now $1.79. I wonder if the new state laws contributed to that price increase or whether it’s a result of inflation via quantitative easing, or both?

    As soon as SCOTUS Roberts flipped and ruled that mandated insurance was allowable under the Commerce Clause since it was a tax I knew the fix was in. Basically, the oligarchs can justify anything they want to, regardless of the original intent of constitutional law. If they don’t like it they just find a way to sidestep it. And the sheeple consent.

    Many industries with favored congressional privileges have been monopolized via ant-trust exemptions. Healthcare and higher education immediately come to mind. That’s the reason you pay so much for both. Because the free market has been extracted out.

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  2. Rex the Wonder Dog!
    Rex the Wonder Dog! 5 February, 2014, 13:13

    The lawsuit by Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster takes aim at a California law set to take effect in 2015 that prohibits eggs from being sold there if they come from hens raised in cages that don’t comply with California’s new size and space requirements. If the law goes into effect, it will limit competition for California egg producers, allowing them to raise prices on California consumers.

    The Missouri lawsuit is DOA.

    There was a similar lawsuit over CA milk sales a few years back brought by AZ food distributor Shamrock Foods, who were selling AZ milk to So. CA vendors, such as restaurants and schools. CA has higher regulatory standards for processing milk than AZ, and Shamrock said it was not needed and only used as a protection for CA dairies. The court ruled that CA has the right to impose higher regulatory standards on products sold within its’ borders under the health and safety clauses of the US Constitution. You can find the case if you Google it. I don’t recall if it was a federal or state court case, which could definitely make a difference.

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Commerce ClauseJohn Seilereggs

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