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Utah Submits Amicus to Appeal California Egg Regulation Case

Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Utah Federal Solicitor Parker Douglas Submit an Amicus Brief in Multi-State Appeal of California’s Egg Regulation Case

SALT LAKE CITY (March, 2015) — Utah’s Attorney General Sean Reyes and Federal Solicitor Parker Douglas have filed an amicus brief in support of multi-state appeal of a California law that bans the retail sale of millions of eggs from both in-state and out-of-state producers. Utah asserts that the case is a classic example of a good intentioned state law that attempts to exercise inherent Police Powers, but conflicts with the rights of citizens and regulatory authority in other states. Utah asks the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to consider: “The Larger State’s ability to exercise its Police Powers in a manner that may infringe on the Police Powers of other States.” Utah filed the amicus brief because it also has an interest in seeing that such important constitutional issues that directly affect it are properly considered and reviewed by the federal judiciary.

“California’s newly active egg production law is not only detrimental to Utah egg farmers, but also to the most vulnerable of citizens, those below the poverty line, and children who need proper nutrition,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. According to Andrew P. Miller, former Attorney General of Virginia, Utah’s participation in this case is critical to its outcome. “Utah’s excellent legal analysis and arguments submitted in an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals may have saved this case for nationwide egg farmers and those most impacted by the possibility of limited egg production and higher prices,” Miller said.

In addition to the constitutional questions that this case has brought into question, Utah’s attorneys believe that the everyday lives of Utahns are impacted in important and concrete ways by California’s egg producers’ rules, embodied in AB 1427, and applied extraterritorially. “We are very concerned for the nearly 13% of Utah citizens who are currently living below the poverty level and depend on low cost egg protein in their nutrition. Studies also indicate that the consumption of eggs may help reduce obesity,” said Utah Federal Solicitor Parker Douglas. “Utah has an additional interest in testing the constitutionality of AB 1437, as a substantial portion of its population, especially its low income population, could find higher obesity rates as egg prices increase.”

The California law on producers was challenged and dismissed by a lower federal court in Oct. 2014 without in depth argument and the new law took effect Jan. 1, 2015. Utah was not included in that case, but has now joined other egg-producing states in asking the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to reverse and remand the lower court’s decision to allow the Plaintiff States to amend their complaint. The Plaintiffs are seeking proper dormant Commerce Clause analysis and hope to prove that California’s AB 1427 constitutes extraterritorial regulation that is not justified by local interest that outweigh those of California’s sister States.

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