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13 states, including Oklahoma, challenge California egg law

WASHINGTON – More than a dozen states want the U.S. Supreme Court to block a California law requiring any eggs sold there to come from hens that have space to stretch out in their cages.

The lawsuit, which was filed on Monday, alleges that California’s requirements violate the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce clause and are pre-empted by federal law.

A federal appeals court panel rejected a similar argument last year in a separate lawsuit from six states.

Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley is spearheading the new lawsuit. He says it includes new data estimating California’s egg law has cost consumers nationwide up to $350 million annually as a result of higher egg prices since it took effect in 2015

The other plaintiff states are Alabama, Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiaa, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin.

“This unconstitutional policy is forcing farmers to invest in expensive infrastructure and driving up the cost of eggs for families,” Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said. “Growing up on a farm in northwest Oklahoma, I know the difficulties farmers face on a daily basis. Adding unnecessary regulations makes life even harder. We must do everything we can to help our farmers succeed, while protecting the interests of Oklahomans.”