Kosher Pickle


Tomorrow the Supreme Court is expected to decide whether to hear an appeal in defense of New York's kosher labeling law. The law was overturned by the 2nd Circuit last year as a violation of the Establishment Clause.

Constitutional questions aside, this is a case where government intervention is demonstrably unnecessary. Jews have managed to eat kosher food for thousands of years without help from government inspectors or prosecutors. The system relies on trust and reputation, with Jews putting their faith in organizations that monitor food manufacturers, restaurants, and stores. There is considerable competition, so each organization has an incentive to maintain high standards. As long as no company claims to have a stamp of approval it did not really earn (which would be a kind of fraud), there is no reason for the state to be involved.