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On January 23, 2012, the Supreme Court announced its decision in National Meat Association v. Harris. The question in this case was whether the Federal Meat Inspection Act (FMIA) preempts a California statute prescribing what slaughterhouses must do with pigs that are unable to walk. The lower court determined that the state statute did not regulate the inspection or slaughtering process itself, and therefore was not preempted by the FMIA.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kagan, the Supreme Court unanimously voted to reverse the decision of the lower court, holding the FMIA does indeed preempt the California statute at issue.
To discuss the case we have John Ohlendorf, who is an Olin-Searle-Smith Fellow in Law at Northwestern University School of Law.