AG joins multi-state lawsuit

Published 4:37 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry has joined another multi-state lawsuit challenging one state’s attempts to enforce burdensome agricultural regulations on other states.

In this legal move, Louisiana and 12 other states have filed a motion at the Supreme Court of the United States challenging a Massachusetts law that seeks to dictate the conditions of housing for poultry, hogs, and calves.

“Massachusetts’s efforts to regulate farming in other states constitute extraterritorial commercial regulation in violation of the Commerce Clause,” Landry said. “This extraterritorial regulation will increase the costs of producing and marketing farm commodities nationwide, including for farmers and consumers in Louisiana.”

“Louisiana has nearly 27,000 farm operations across our state — including many who produce poultry, hogs, and cattle,” Landry said. “I will not sit idly while other states violate the rule of law, burden our farmers with illegal regulations, and drive up prices for our consumers.”

According to the 2012 Census, Louisiana had 10,121 cows and calves farms, 1,504 poultry and egg farms, and 382 hog farms. The state ranks 30th in the nation for value of agriculture products sold and 20th for sales from poultry.

This lawsuit, Indiana, et al. v. Massachusetts, comes after a recent filing by Landry challenging a California law requiring that eggs comply with California’s onerous cage-system regulations. Joining Landry in the Massachusetts case are the attorneys general from Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“It is imperative that attorneys general across the country work together to defend federalism,” Landry said. “I hope the Supreme Court will take up this case soon and will protect our states’ constitutional rights.”