Recent Supreme Court Decision Could Impact Small Businesses


In a ruling that could have far-reaching consequences for small businesses across the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld California’s Proposition 12 in the case of National Pork Producers Council v. Ross. This decision may impose additional regulatory burdens on small businesses operating outside of California, according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

The NFIB, which had filed an amicus brief advocating against the Ninth Circuit’s ruling in the case, expressed deep disappointment over this decision. The organization had hoped the Court would reinforce the precedent of the Commerce Clause, preventing California from enforcing a law with implications for small businesses throughout the country.

Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center, explained the potential repercussions of this decision. “This Supreme Court decision will not only affect every small, family-run farm in the nation, but it changes the standard of how state governments can impose regulatory burdens on businesses and consumers outside of that state,” Milito stated. “Proposition 12 will have a staggering impact on pork farmers, consumers, and interstate commerce as a whole. Today’s decision sets a dangerous precedent, and small businesses will bear the consequences.”

California’s Proposition 12 has been a subject of controversy since its inception. It applies stringent regulations to pork farmers, processors, wholesalers, and retailers nationwide. With the Supreme Court’s ruling, the California Department of Food and Agriculture now holds the power to enforce these stringent regulations on interstate commerce, affecting businesses outside of its jurisdiction. This verdict exposes small businesses to potential burdensome and costly requirements, making them subject to regulatory agencies outside of their operating state.

For small businesses, particularly those involved in the pork farming and processing industry, this ruling represents a significant shift. They now face the potential of additional expenses and complexities associated with adhering to another state’s regulations, adding to the already considerable challenges small businesses encounter.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center continues its commitment to safeguarding the rights of small business owners across the nation. It is actively engaged in over 40 cases in both federal and state courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, striving to ensure that small businesses have a fair and balanced regulatory environment.

As the dust settles on this Supreme Court decision, it’s clear that the implications for small businesses could be extensive and far-reaching. It underlines the importance of constant legal vigilance and the need for small businesses to stay informed about changes in the regulatory landscape that could impact their operations, now and in the future.

Image: Depositphotos

Joshua Sophy Joshua Sophy is the Editor for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 16 years. A professional journalist with 20 years of experience in traditional media and online media, he attended Waynesburg University and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has held roles of reporter, editor and publisher, having founded his own local newspaper, the Pottsville Free Press.