Letter to Joseph Biden, President of the United States, Elizabeth Prelogar, Solicitor General, and Thomas Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture - In Support of Humane Farming


By: Marilyn Strickland, Adam Smith, Pramila Jayapal, Derek Kilmer, Suzan DelBene, Gerry Connolly, Don Beyer, Jr., Donald McEachin, Lloyd Doggett II, Sylvia Garcia, Sheila Jackson Lee, Veronica Escobar, Steve Cohen, Joe Wilson, Sr., Mike Doyle, Jr., Susan Wild, Mary Scanlon, Madeleine Dean, Brendan Boyle, Peter DeFazio, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, Paul Tonko, Mondaire Jones, Adriano Espaillat, Carolyn Maloney, Grace Meng, Kathleen Rice, Thomas Suozzi, Dina Titus, Bonnie Watson Coleman, Mikie Sherrill, Bill Pascrell, Jr., Tom Malinowski, Donald Norcross, Annie Kuster, David Price, Rashida Tlaib, Haley Stevens, Andy Levin, Jamie Raskin, David Trone, Anthony Brown, Bill Keating, Stephen Lynch, Seth Moulton, Katherine Clark, Jake Auchincloss, Jim McGovern, Sharice Davids, André Carson, Brad Schneider, Jan Schakowsky, Raja Krishnamoorthi, Danny Davis, Mike Quigley, Marie Newman, Lucy McBath, Nikema Williams, Hank Johnson, Jr., Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ted Deutch, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, Charlie Crist, Jr., Lisa Blunt Rochester, Eleanor Norton, Jim Himes, Rosa DeLauro, Jason Crow, Joe Neguse, Scott Peters, Alan Lowenthal, Nanette Barragán, Maxine Waters, Mark Takano, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Linda Sánchez, Karen Bass, Raul Ruiz, Norma Torres, Jimmy Gomez, Ted Lieu, Pete Aguilar, Brad Sherman, Tony Cárdenas, Adam Schiff, Judy Chu, Julia Brownley, Salud Carbajal, Jimmy Panetta, Zoe Lofgren, Anna Eshoo, Ro Khanna, Eric Swalwell, Barbara Lee, Jerry McNerney, Jared Huffman, Raul Grijalva, Tom O'Halleran, Kim Schrier
Date: May 4, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Dear President Biden, Solicitor General Prelogar, and Secretary Vilsack:

As you know, on March 28th, the Supreme Court decided to hear National Pork Producers Council v. Ross, the pork industry's challenge to California's Proposition 12. This law is intended to prevent animal cruelty, protect the health and safety of California consumers, and decrease the risk of foodborne illness by phasing out extreme methods of farm animal confinement. California's Proposition 12 regulates only in-state sales of certain pork products at issue in this case (as well as in-state sales of certain egg and veal products) and does not directly control any activity outside the state.

Proposition 12 shares many substantive similarities with cage-free sales laws and regulations in Oregon, Washington, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Arizona, and Massachusetts, which were supported by broad, diverse coalitions of stakeholders. A harmful ruling on this case would undermine all of these state laws and others like them, as well as the significant investments companies have made towards protecting consumer preferences and the health, safety, and welfare of animals and the environment.

Efforts to overturn this popular law are fundamentally inconsistent with long-standing judicial precedent. The Commerce Clause should not be weaponized to shield particular industries from in-state sales regulation, like California's Proposition 12. Nor should states have to create one set of rules for in-state products and a different set of rules for ones from out of state. We request that you support California's regulatory autonomy vis-a-vis Proposition 12 in this case before the Supreme Court to ensure that States are not stripped of their authority to protect the well-being of their citizens. Thank you for your consideration.