SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a California law restricting pork sales from breeding pigs that are “confined in a cruel manner.” 

The opinion for the case National Pork Producers Council v. Ross was released on Thursday morning. The court affirmed a ruling from the Ninth Circuit court.   

Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion of the court and said the court would not “fashion two new and more aggressive constitutional restrictions on the ability of States to regulate goods sole within their borders. 

“While the Constitution addresses many weighty issues, the type of pork chops California merchants may sell is not on that list,” the opinion states. You can read the court opinion on the Supreme Court’s government website

California voters passed Proposition 12 in 2018 which requires pork sold in the state needs to come from pigs whose mothers were raised with at least 24 square feet of space and ability to lie down and turn around. 

The South Dakota Pork Producers Council pointed to the National Pork Producers Council statement on the ruling. The NPPC is based in Iowa. 

“We are very disappointed with the Supreme Court’s opinion. Allowing state overreach will increase prices for consumers and drive small farms out of business, leading to more consolidation,” NPPC president and Missouri pork producer said in a statement. 

“We are still evaluating the Court’s full opinion to understand all the implications. NPPC will continue to fight for our nation’s pork farmers and American families against misguided regulations.”

According to the South Dakota Pork Production Council, there are 2.3 million hogs in South Dakota and 11,000 South Dakotans work in the pork industry. 

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley, a Republican, called California’s Proposition 12 “hogwash.” 

“Iowa is the nation’s top pork producer California comes nowhere close yet its proposed regulations put restrictions on how pork producers in all other states raise hogs,” Grassley tweeted

On its website, Smithfield Foods says it is “good stewards” and keeps “our animals safe, comfortable and healthy.” Smithfield Foods has a 110-page document on its animal care.

In that document, Smithfield Foods says in 2022, 36% of its contract farmers in the United States follow “group-housed pork” and Smithfield Foods closely tracks farms’ transition to group housing. 

In a statement, Smithfield Foods said the ruling does not impact its pork producing plants. 

“Smithfield Foods is committed to serving our customers in California and elsewhere while complying with all applicable laws and regulations,” a spokesman with Smithfield Foods said in an emailed statement.