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Ag groups face long odds of SCOTUS taking up Prop 12 appeal

Odds don’t favor the Supreme Court taking up this week’s appeal of California’s Proposition 12 by American Farm Bureau and the National Pork Producers Council.

Minnesota Pork CEO David Preisler tells Brownfield there are usually about 5,000 cases applied to the High Court each year.

“And there’s somewhere around 100 of them that are heard every year, so it’s certainly no guarantee that it actually gets to be heard. We do think that there are some important legal issues here that need to be settled by the court regarding what’s called a Commerce Clause.”

He says cases involving that clause go back more than a century.

“The most recent one that was appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court and was not heard was done this past summer by the North American Meat Institute, which basically represents packers. What we’re hopeful for is hopefully (SCOTUS) is waiting for this case and that’s why we hope it ends up being heard.”

Preisler says if the Supreme Court decides to hear the Prop 12 petition, the case probably wouldn’t begin until sometime next year.

He says the biggest problem with Prop 12 is that it would force most pork producers to add about 25 percent more building space, or reduce sow herds 20 to 25 percent to meet California’s production standards.

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