A federal appeals court has rejected the lawsuit Governor Terry Branstad and officials from five other states filed to block a California law that Branstad argued discriminates against Iowa egg producers.
In 2008, California voters approved a ballot measure that bans the sale of eggs that come from “extreme confinement” operations. Farmers had ’til 2015 to ensure eggs sold in California came from chickens with enough space to stand up, turn around and fully extend their wings.
Iowa’s governor and attorneys general from five other states sued in early 2014. Branstad said Californians were trying to regulate Iowa farming operations and that’s a violation of the constitution’s commerce clause.
A federal appeals court has ruled the states don’t have the legal standing to file the lawsuit and it should be dismissed. The court ruled egg sales are not of “central economic significance” to a state, but large egg producers in Iowa and elsewhere could file a lawsuit “on their own.”
Branstad is traveling in China and unavailable for comment.