Ballot Question on Farm Animal Cruelty Faces Court Challenge 

gavelBOSTON (AP) — The state’s highest court will decide a challenge to a proposed November ballot question that would ban the sale of food products from farms that keep animals in overly restrictive cages.

Two Massachusetts residents, James Dunn and Diane Sullivan, are asking the Supreme Judicial Court to overturn Attorney General Maura Healey’s ruling that the initiative petition meets constitutional requirements.

Oral arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

The suit argues that the question should be disqualified from the ballot because it contains mutually unrelated sections, one that would prohibit certain practices by farmers and another that would force retailers to change their purchasing decisions.

Healey’s office says the challenge is without merit, arguing that all parts of the petition relate to the same stated goal of reducing cruelty to farm animals.

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