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Hawley continues legal effort against California over egg regulations

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Missouri and 12 other states are continuing their legal fight against California over a state law there that plaintiffs say is inflating the price of eggs.

California law requires any eggs sold there to come from chickens whose cages are large enough for them to stretch out and move around. Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley, a Republican, is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene.

“What California is doing, their regulations have already cost California (poultry) farmers hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “If they’re allowed to impose it on Missouri, and everybody else I might add, it will drive up the cost of eggs for the average family.” 

Hawley is also seeking the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

Three years ago, then-Attorney General Chris Koster, a Democrat, filed a similar suit to overturn California’s chicken crate regulation. That suit was tossed out by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which ruled that Missouri did not have legal standing to pursue the lawsuit.

Hawley disagreed.

“One state cannot impose its laws on another state, and that’s true no matter what the substance is – it doesn’t matter if it’s farming regulations or anything else,” he said. “But in this case, the (California) farming regulations will badly hurt Missouri farmers and Missouri consumers.”

Also suing California are Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Nevada, and Utah.

Follow Marshall Griffin on Twitter:@MarshallGReport

Marshal was a political reporter for St. Louis Public Radio until 2018.