Public Interest Coalition to Oppose Idaho’s Motion to Dimiss Ag Gag Lawsuit

Posted on June 24, 2014

Groups in Court to Challenge State Law Targeting Factory Farm Whistle-Blowers

For immediate release:

Megan Backus, ALDF
David Perle, PETA
Leo Morales, ACLU of Idaho
Abigail Seiler, Center for Food Safety
Travis Bruner, Western Watersheds Project

cows-cc-jelle-s-squareBOISE – Tomorrow, national nonprofits Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the American Civil Liberties Union of Idaho (ACLU), and Center for Food Safety (CFS) will present arguments at a hearing regarding Idaho’s motion to dismiss the groups’ lawsuit, which challenges the constitutionality of Idaho’s controversial ag gag law.

When: Wednesday, June 25, 2:00pm

Where: U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho, James A. McClure Federal Bldg.
Courtroom 3 (Judge B. Lynn Winmill), 550 W. Fort Street, Boise, ID 83724

In April 2014 the groups filed a response to Idaho’s motion to dismiss the lawsuit (which was filed earlier this spring in the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho). The plaintiffs’ response argued that the ag gag law violates the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution and is preempted by federal law. The public interest coalition consists of organizations dedicated to civil liberties, animal protection, food safety, labor rights, and the environment, along with journalists. The groups filed the federal lawsuit to overturn Idaho’s ag gag statute, which was ratified by Idaho governor C.L. “Butch” Otter in February (Idaho Code sec. 18-7042). The statute criminalizes whistle-blowing investigations at factory farms, and specifically targets animal advocates who expose illegal practices.

Since the lawsuit was filed, groups including the AFL-CIO, the Government Accountability Project, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and a coalition of journalist organizations led by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, have submitted “friend of the court” legal briefs in support of the coalition’s lawsuit. On June 16, the court denied the Idaho Dairymen’s Association’s attempt to intervene in the lawsuit. The Association played a key role in drafting the ag gag law under challenge–illustrating a collusion between industry and government that is aimed at protecting factory farms from liability. The public interest coalition opposed the involvement of the Idaho Dairymen’s Association, which they perceived as a waste of court time and resources.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are ALDF, PETA, ACLU, CFS, Farm Sanctuary, River’s Wish Animal Sanctuary, Western Watersheds Project, Sandpoint Vegetarians, Idaho Concerned Area Residents for the Environment (ICARE), Idaho Hispanic Caucus Institute for Research and Education (IHCIRE), the political journal CounterPunch, Farm Forward,  journalist Will Potter, Professor James McWilliams, investigator Monte Hickman, investigative journalist Blair Koch, and undercover investigations consultant Daniel Hauff.

The coalition’s response to the state’s motion to dismiss, the original complaint, and list of the organizations submitting amicus briefs are available upon request.


16 thoughts on “Public Interest Coalition to Oppose Idaho’s Motion to Dimiss Ag Gag Lawsuit

  1. anne.n.oliver says:

    never never give up trying to protect
    the voiceless ones.Bless and thank you for what you are .doing

  2. anne.n.oliver says:

    thank you for all you do

  3. Elizabeth says:

    Best of luck tomorrow!

  4. Donna Keebler says:

    We must treat farm animals with kindness and dignity. That is the very least we can do as humans!

  5. Giuliana Rinaldo says:

    Thank you ALDF for all you do, your fortitude, and forging ahead on this fight against the outrageous injustice with Idaho’s bogus ag gag law. My thoughts and prayers will be with you all in the coalition to fight Idaho’s government for the sake of the animals and general public.

  6. Elise Mysels says:

    Protect farm animals!

  7. Abby de Roche says:

    Good luck, we all support your efforts and applaud your commitment to the animals and to this worthy cause

  8. Adrienne Guy says:

    Protect farm animals and the peoples’ rights to know what goes on in factory farms, which in truth ought to be banned.

  9. Adrienne Guy says:

    Protect farm animals and the peoples’ rights to know what goes on in factory farms, which in truth ought to be banned.

  10. Cassi gallegos says:

    Is this open to the public????

  11. Tracy Light says:

    The public has the right to know about ALL animal cruelty, just the same as human cruelty..Please protect them.

  12. Paul Bali says:

    Good luck in the Matrix!

  13. Diane Chivilo says:

    We have to protect the voiceless. All animal cruelty should be reported, don’t protect the abusers!

  14. EYG says:

    This is The Good Fight. No government has the right to stifle Free Speech/Freedom of the Press. These ag-gag laws are evil. I hope and pray Butch Otter has some crow to eat when the court finds his evil law can’t stand. May all states and their filthy politicians that pushed ag-gag laws go straight to hell.

  15. rick says:

    My friend was poisoned by her doctor husband after he hospitalized her with life threatening injuries. When she tried to divorce him, he poisoned her. No government agency would help her. This is the second wife of this doctor to be found dead in his bathroom. We have evidence he is in ” bed”.with the local district attorney. No charges have been filed since this happened five years ago. The witnesses are still being lied to and ignored. Like the, it is time to get politicians out of the pockets of corporate America. You go America!

  16. rick says:

    The best way to stop a criminal food facility is to stop buying their products.

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