U.S. Supreme Court Upholds California’s Foie Gras Ban

The high court denies appeal by Hermosa Beach restaurant Hot’s Kitchen

On Tuesday the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to California’s ban on foie gras. The ruling marked a victory for animal rights activists and a blow to producers and gourmands across the state.

Last year, the ban was challenged by Hot’s Restaurant Group—which is based in Los Angeles and operates Hot’s Kitchen restaurant in the South Bay—with support from Hudson Valley Foie Gras, which markets itself as a humanely-operated farm in upstate New York. The challenge was based on a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause, which prohibits interference with interstate commerce. That argument, however, was rejected by the 9th Circuit and was upheld by the Supreme Court more recently.

While there are a few other challenges to the foie gras ban working their way through the courts, it now seems less likely that any of them will succeed in appealing the most recent decision. Sorry, Californians: If you want a taste of this rich French delicacy, you’ll have to smuggle it across state lines for the foreseeable future.