Another federal court decision has upheld California’s Proposition 2, which passed overwhelming in 2008 and has dramatically raised raw shell egg prices in the Golden State since this past Jan. 1 when it became effective. This time is was a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals based in San Francisco that decided a challenge to the law over whether it is too vague to be constitutional. The judges agreed that while it “may have been preferable” for Prop. 2 authors to have actually included some numbers for the new minimum enclosures required to house laying hens, constitutional due process does not require “perfect clarity” or “precise guidance.” In other words, Prop. 2 comes close enough for government work with its requirement that egg-laying hens must be able to fully spread both wings and turn in a complete circle for enclosures to comply with the new law. Prop. 2 also applies similar confinement standards to veal calves and pregnant sows. “Because hens have a wing span and a turning radius that can be observed and measured, a person of reasonable intelligence can determine the dimensions of an appropriate confinement that will comply with Proposition 2,” the panel ruled Wednesday in a decision that affirms the decision of the U.S. District Court for Central California. Judges D.W. Nelson, Jay Beebe, and Sandra Ikuta signed off on the decision. Nelson was appointed to the appeals bench by President Jimmy Carter, and Beebe and Ikuta were both appointed by President George W. Bush. After the court accepted the appeal, it opted not to hear any oral arguments. The case was brought in 2012 by Riverside County egg producer William Cramer, whose family farms delivered eggs to distributors for both the California and other domestic markets for 50 years. In his challenge to the law, Cramer said his laying hens were caged in modern systems that allowed them room to eat and drink water, but he “is informed and believes” that they would be deemed too small to comply with Prop. 2. Earlier, six Midwestern states sued in the same federal court on behalf of raw shell egg producers in their states, and a U.S. District Court judge in California tossed the case on the grounds that they did not have standing. These states objected to amendments to Prop. 2 added by the California Assembly that extend the law to out-of-state producers who supply raw shell eggs to the Golden State.

  • Sam Olsen

    Don’t drink the Proposition 2 Kool-Aid.

    There were no “veal crates” in California to start with. And
    HSUS’s promise that Prop 2 required egg factories go “Cage-Free” was
    a cruel hoax from the very beginning. Here’s an excellent report on what has really taken place.

    http://www.animals24-7.org/2015/01/02/why-california-proposition-2-now-in-effect-is-not-protecting-farmed-animals/

    The bottom line is this, millions of hens in California are still suffering in cages.
    Far from going “cage-free,” the egg industry is currently investing in new cages-as well as simply modifying their old cages.

  • spcpo

    Don’t drink the HSUS Kool-Aid! We warned Californians there were very few veal crates and they were after the egg laying chickens. Now they will keep heading the assault until there are no egg laying chickens, no pork, no beef…nothing that comes from animals. HSUS is intent on turning everyone into vegans.
    California – you voted for it. Now you will have to vote your way out of it.