Alabama's A.G. joins lawsuit against California - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

Alabama's A.G. joins lawsuit against California

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

Alabama's Attorney General Luther Strange has now joined a lawsuit to stop California from imposing laws on Alabama, and other states, regarding the way eggs are produced.

A.G. Strange joined the lawsuit on Wednesday in order to prevent the California law, which requires that eggs sold in stores may only come from chickens that live in larger-than-normal cages, from going into effect. Alabama is one of the top 15 largest egg producers in the United States, producing a total of 2.13 million eggs in 2012 according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Many of these eggs are sold in other states, including California.

"In Alabama, consumers are free to make their own choice of which eggs to buy at their grocery stores, and it is preposterous and quite simply wrong for California to tell Alabama how we must produce eggs," Strange said. "This is not an animal-welfare issue; it is about California's attempt to protect its economy from its own job-killing laws by extending those laws to everyone else in the country."    

Voters in California passed a proposition, in 2008, that requires its own egg producers provide either free ranges or larger cages for hens. After egg producers stated that this would put them in an economic disadvantage with other states, California added in provisions that extended the mandate to any eggs imported from other states to be sold in California.   

"The citizens of California made a choice for their own state, and when they realized it would harm their egg producers, they made an unconstitutional decision to spread the damage to other States," Strange said.  "If California can get away with this, it won't be long before the environmentalists in California tell us how we must build cars, grow crops, and raise cattle too."

Attorney General Strange and the Attorney General of Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and the Gov. of Iowa are asking the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California to declare the law invalid and stop the enforcement. They argue that the law is a violation of the Commerce and Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and the Federal Egg Products Inspection Act. The law is set to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2015.

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