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N. Am. Meat Inst. v. Becerra

United States District Court for the Central District of California

November 22, 2019, Decided; November 22, 2019, Filed

2:19-CV-08569-CAS (FFMx)



Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) - PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION (ECF No. 15, filed on October 4, 2019)



Plaintiff North American Meat Institute ("NAMI"), a national trade association of meat packers and processors, filed this action against California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross, and California Director of Public Health Sonia Angell (collectively "California" or "the State") on October 4, 2019 to challenge the constitutionality and prevent the enforcement of California Health & Safety Code § 25990(b), which California voters enacted as Proposition 12 on November 6, 2018 ("Proposition 12"). See ECF No. 1 ("Compl."). The complaint alleges that Proposition 12 violates the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution by: (1) discriminating against out of state producers, distributors, and sellers of pork and veal; (2) impermissibly regulating extraterritorial activities beyond California's borders; and (3) substantially burdening interstate commerce [**2]  in a manner that exceeds any legitimate local benefits. Compl. ¶¶ 44-90.

Along with its complaint, NAME concurrently filed a motion for preliminary injunction and several supporting fact declarations from its members. See ECF No. 15 ("PI"). The State of California filed an opposition to the PI motion on October 28, 2019. See ECF No. 24 ("PI Opp."). The next day, several animal welfare organizations—the Humane Society of the United States, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, Animal Equality, The Humane Leave, Farm Sanctuary, Compassion in World Farming USA, and Compassion Over Killing (collectively the "Intervenors" or the "Proposed Intervenors")—filed a motion to intervene as defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 24, as well as a brief in opposition to NAMI's PI motion. See ECF No. 25-1 ("MTI"), ECF No. 25-10 ("hit. PI Opp."). NAMI filed a reply in support of its preliminary injunction motion on November 4, 2019. See ECF No. 29 ("PI Reply").

 [*1018]  In addition to these submissions, the California Egg Farmers Association filed an amicus brief in opposition to the motion for a preliminary injunction, see ECF No. 28 ("Egg Farmers Brief'), while the States of Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, [**3]  Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Utah jointly filed an amicus brief in support of the motion for a preliminary injunction, see ECF No. 40 ("States' Brief').

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420 F. Supp. 3d 1014 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204602 **; 2019 WL 6253701


Subsequent History: Appeal filed, 12/03/2019

Claim dismissed by, Without prejudice, Motion denied by N. Am. Meat Inst. v. Becerra, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33009 (C.D. Cal., Feb. 24, 2020)


commerce, discriminatory, injunction, extraterritoriality, in-state, intervenors, interstate, out-of-state, animal, veal, intervene, meat, confinement, pork, voters, Reply, eggs, irreparable, dormant, farmer, seller, farm, hens, Optometrists, Agriculture, consumers, processor, borders, grading, succeed

Governments, Agriculture & Food, Animal Protection, Civil Procedure, Parties, Intervention, Intervention of Right, Permissive Intervention, Remedies, Injunctions, Preliminary & Temporary Injunctions, Justiciability, Standing, Third Party Standing, Constitutional Law, Congressional Duties & Powers, Commerce Clause, Dormant Commerce Clause, Interstate Commerce, Tests, Commerce Clause, Legislation, Interpretation, Antitrust & Trade Law, Regulated Practices, Price Fixing & Restraints of Trade, Interstate Commerce, Courts, Judicial Precedent, State Sovereign Immunity