The SCOTUS decision to let California demand the pork industry become slightly less cruel is pretty important

Originally published at: The SCOTUS decision to let California demand the pork industry become slightly less cruel is pretty important | Boing Boing


How could this lawsuit even have legs? There is nothing forcing these pork producers to engage in more humane practices for raising pigs sold to other states.
Automakers build different cars for sale to California for many years before the industry as a whole moved to adopt those standards.


The mandate of catalytic converters also meant that the gas industry in California had to give up on leaded gas, something they weren’t too happy about either.


Plus, it’s no different than how any two sovereign entities trade with each other. Want to sell something in Canada? The label has to be bilingual. Want to sell something in Israel? You have to meet a series of Kosher labelling requirements.

Whether you view the US as a “marketplace of ideas” or as “50 tiny nations”, it doesn’t change this analogy.

It would be weirder if a country (or state) was somehow required to accept improper goods from a trading partner. I’m amazed this lawsuit ever made it off the lowest-circuit judge’s desk.


Oh, oh, now do TX and reproductive rights!!


I mean that’s already kind of happened, right? My recollection is that Texas is the largest consumer of K-12 textbooks, and the state board of education (or whatever governs school textbooks) basically says what can and can’t be taught.

Since publishers aren’t going to make one set of textbooks that are “Texas approved” and another set for everyone else, everyone else gets what Texas demands, pretty much.


I’m actually surprised the Court even granted cert on this case. It’s pretty long established that states can set whatever rules they want for things like this as long as those rules aren’t different for an in-state producer as they are for an out-of-state producer. That’s even much longer established precedent that Roe was. I remember studying a couple of milk lawsuits from 100+ years ago when I took Constitutional Law that settled this issue.

As far as the seemingly surprising mix of justices in the majority…when you have cases like this that don’t trip social-ideology triggers for politicians and pundits, you see a lot more mixing up of the traditional liberal vs. conservative justices. RBG, for example, often sided with Scalia on commerce questions like this.


The weirdest part to me is that this is capitalism writ into law. Californians, including those who eat pork, voted for this proposition to become law.

You’d think a dynamic, innovative company in this sector would see this market opportunity and move to fill this space, cornering the California market.

Oh, wait…


If the Federal government enacted the law nationwide they would have to comply, but they don’t have to comply here, they can just stop selling pork in California.

Imagine for a second that pork was never even legal in California, that early settlers were all vegetarians and adopted laws as such. Would the pork industry demand they legalize pork simply because it’s a lost profit opportunity? “Driving up costs” is just another way of saying “cutting into our profit margin.”


Californians want to buy LOTS of bacon, but only if it is “ethically” raised according to the legal standard they voted on. No one is required to sell them that bacon.


Yes, I know, I was proposing a thought experiment there.

The pork industry saw they were going to lose profits either way, so tried for a third option, to force California to buy their pork as is, with no rules regarding production.


Yeah, I’m really puzzled by this. Nothing legally prevents them from having some farms that raise “CA approved” pigs and others that raise “rest of the country” pigs. Nothing except that being less efficient (profitable) than just doing it the maximally compliant way everywhere. And it’s less efficient because the cost difference at the farm is small compared to the logistics.

Overturning this would basically be an end to the ability of the states to make any sort of commerce regulations at all. Which I get that a lot of republicans would like to see because “regulation bad”, but it’s not at all the way the US is set up.


“We saw what you did with auto emissions and we see what you are doing with insulin. We think we can stop you.”


Yeah, but believe it or not California had to get special permission from the EPA in order to enact those stricter-than-Federal rules. And other states currently have the choice to either adopt the Federal emissions standards or adopt the California emissions standards, but not create their own new standards unless they go through a whole process to get a different waiver.

Anyway, I am glad that the court didn’t rule that CA can’t do this or needs to get a waiver from the department of agriculture or something.


Man, Gorsuch is such an interesting Justice. Just like Roberts, he’s very often a swing vote on less partisan issues and has come in on the right side of a number of issues. He also seems to recuse himself more than others, a lot of which has to do with him having been a Circuit judge who had already heard some of the cases, but still… SCOTUS ethics are increasingly fungible these days.

I guess what I’m saying is, knowing that SCOTUS is always going to be composed of at least a few people whose views I find reprehensible, I’ll take Roberts and Gorsuch over Alito and Thomas any day.


Damning with faint praise, that.


why only a slim majority?
logical reasoning much?

Or even Texas and school textbooks: as Texas buys textbooks for the entire state rather than by district or school, it is by far the largest single market, which means their non-factual requirements end up being in the textbooks every other state is stuck with, too.

ETA: apparently I couldn’t even read one more response before piping up! Here ya go, @Mongrove:

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Texas and California. So if you want your textbooks to have evolution and slavery in them, you order the California ones. If you want your kids to be ignorant fools, you order the Texas ones. The companies all make two major editions, or some of the smaller companies make them only for one market or the other.


really, its less about ideology than decisions to weaponize certain issues by the far right.

case in point, they used to believe strongly in “tort reform” – then quietly dropped it once it wasn’t a useful tactic anymore.