Hey, California, regulate your own hen cages
The Constitution, in its list of federal powers, includes the ability “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes.”
USA TODAY’s Editorial Board seems to have forgotten this. Otherwise, it would editorialize in favor of my Protect Interstate Commerce Act (PICA).
Why? Because PICA protects the Framers’ design from the assault being levied against it by leftist interest groups in activist states.
Some states are ignoring the Commerce Clause’s existence. They are unconstitutionally attempting to regulate the manufacture and production of agricultural products in the other 49 states. California provides an example.
California’s Vegan Lobby, attempting to regulate meat off of American dinner tables, successfully placed costly and excessively burdensome cage size rules on egg producers. California is now attempting to apply these rules to producers not only within California (which PICA would still allow) but on every other state, too.
California is even sending its agriculture inspectors to other states, such as my state of Iowa, to determine if producers there are complying with California’s demands. If California’s carpetbagging inspectors determine producers in other states aren’t complying with California’s regulations, those producers will be banned from selling their products — even when approved by the Agriculture Department and the Food and Drug Administration — into California’s vast marketplace. To make matters worse, it matters not whether the producers are in full compliance with existing federal laws or laws of the state in which they live and work.
That’s not how our system works. It is regulation without representation. Lawless states like California cannot trample on the constitutional rights of the other 49 states, or of the federal government. PICA restores the constitutional balance, ensuring free trade among the states. Regulate your own cages, California, but keep your hands off everyone else’s.
Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is a member of the House Agriculture Committee.
Note: This column originally ran in USA Today on 5/21/18.