May 11 2021
Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today led a group of senators and representatives calling on the Biden administration to withdraw two amicus briefs in lawsuits related to California’s Proposition 12 animal welfare law.
“The Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn this popular California law are fundamentally inconsistent with long-standing judicial precedent, and if adopted, threaten to derail numerous critical health, safety, environmental protection, and animal welfare regulations in dozens of states,” the members of Congress wrote to Agriculture Secretary Vilsack and Attorney General Garland.
In addition to Senator Feinstein, the letter was signed by Senators Alex Padilla (D-Calif.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Representatives Doris Matsui, Anna Eshoo, Mark DeSaulnier, Nanette Diaz Barragán, Karen Bass, Lou Correa, Jared Huffman, Jerry McNerney, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Alan Lowenthal, Grace Napolitano, Norma Torres, Salud Carbajal, Jackie Speier, Brad Sherman, Barbara Lee, Juan Vargas, Mark Takano, Julia Brownley, Eric Swalwell, Judy Chu, Tony Cárdenas, Jimmy Panetta and Scott Peters (all D-Calif.).
Full text of the letter follows:
May 11, 2021
The Honorable Thomas J. Vilsack
U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250
The Honorable Merrick Garland
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20530
Dear Secretary Vilsack and Attorney General Garland:
We write to urge you to withdraw the amicus curiae briefs filed by the Trump Administration in two cases challenging California's Proposition 12, which sets humane standards for farm animal products sold in California. The briefs were filed in two cases in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, National Pork Producers Council v. Ross and North American Meat Institute v. Becerra.
The Trump Administration’s efforts to overturn this popular California law are fundamentally inconsistent with long-standing judicial precedent, and if adopted, threaten to derail numerous critical health, safety, environmental protection, and animal welfare regulations in dozens of states. Just a small sample of state laws that could be subverted include regulations governing the sale of alcoholic beverages, wildlife protections, child labor, dangerous pesticides, pollutants, and puppy mills. Prompt withdrawal of these briefs is imperative as they directly undermine decades of federalism and constitutional law precedent that preserves the states’ power to serve as laboratories of democracy, where they can advance new policies to protect their citizens.
In light of the serious and needless threats to states’ authority to protect the well-being of their citizens, the environment and animal welfare, we request that you immediately withdraw the previous administration’s amicus briefs filed in National Pork Producers Council v. Ross and North American Meat Institute v. Becerra. Furthermore, we ask that you advise the Supreme Court that it should not take up the North American Meat Institute’s appeal if the Court requests the Administration’s input on the current petition for certiorari in that case.
Thank you for your consideration of our request.