D.C. Circuit Orders En Banc Rehearing in AMI Challenge to COOL Rules
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has vacated a panel’s March 28, 2014, denial of the motion for preliminary judgment filed by meat producer interests in litigation challenging U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) regulations requiring retailers of “muscle cuts” of meat to list the countries of origin and production (country-of-origin labeling, or COOL) as to each step of production—born, raised or slaughtered. Am. Meat Inst. v. USDA, No. 13-5281 (D.C. Cir., order entered April 4, 2014). Additional information about the March 28 decision appears in Issue 518 of this Update.
A court majority voted to rehear the case before the full court on May 19 and ordered the parties to brief a supplemental issue: “Whether, under the First Amendment, judicial review of mandatory disclosure of ‘purely factual and uncontroversial’ commercial information, compelled for reasons other than preventing deception, can properly proceed under Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626, 651 (1985), or whether such compelled disclosure is subject to review under Central Hudson Gas & Electric v. PSC of New York, 447 U.S. 56 (1980).” Supplemental briefs must be filed by April 21.