Interstate Commerce and Chicken Eggs

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a California law that requires all eggs sold in the Golden State to come from hens housed in roomier cages.

State Attorneys General from Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kentucky, Oklahoma, and Alabama had sued to block implementation of the law on the grounds that it unconstitutionally interfered with interstate commerce under the Commerce Clause.

They said farmers would have to spend hundreds of millions of dollars overhauling farms to ensure they would have access to the California market….

US District Judge Kimberly Mueller of the Eastern District of California disagreed.

The only citizens who may have to spend $120 million to comply with California’s legislation are the egg farmers who intend to participate in California’s egg market[.]

Intend to participate. Not required to participate. That raises a question in my pea brain: which will cost those farmers more, modifying their enclosures or not selling their eggs in California?

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