Secretary Lyons scheduled to attend hearing
SACRAMENTO – CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. is scheduled to attend an historic hearing at the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday, April 22nd for oral arguments in a case that challenges California’s milk pooling system.
The plaintiffs are out-of-state dairies objecting to a 1997 amendment to the pool regulations that closed a regulatory loophole that had created a significant artificial disadvantage for in-state producers. The change was made following a discovery that tanker trucks were hauling California milk out-of-state and then bringing a like amount of milk back across the border, thereby exploiting the milk pooling system to get higher prices than other in-state producers. The procedure was known as “round-tripping” and created substantial inequities in the market place.
“California dairies are widely recognized for the high quality of their milk and the efficiency of their business operations,” said Secretary Lyons. “Our milk pooling regulations as they now stand are well-constructed to fulfill their mission of providing an adequate and continuous supply of pure, fresh, wholesome milk to consumers at fair and reasonable prices.”
The hearing will mark the first time in California history that litigation over the state’s milk regulatory program has reached the U.S. Supreme Court. The plaintiffs elected to elevate the case to the high court after losing at the district court level and then losing an appeal at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
NOTE - The case is the second matter on the docket for April 22 and is expected to begin at approximately 11 a.m., Eastern Daylight Time. Secretary Lyons will be available for questions following oral arguments.
Previous Lower Court Decisions (PDF file)
Hillside Dairy Inc. v. Lyons, Docket Number: 01-950
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814