The following are key dates in the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s opposition to Ag-Gag laws in the U.S.

Timeline

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  • August 19, 2021

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirms the District Court’s ruling that struck down Kansas’ Ag-Gag law for violating the First Amendment. The court held that the Kansas law unconstitutionally singled out views critical of animal agriculture for punishment. The decision further noted that the videos and public discourse generated by whistleblowing and undercover investigations of factory farms and slaughterhouses relate to a matter of public concern, and that such speech lies at the core of the First Amendment.

  • August 10, 2021

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition partners file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, challenging the constitutionality of the recently passed Iowa Recording Ban, state lawmakers’ latest spin on an Ag-Gag law. This law creates a new crime of “trespassing” to engage in video and audio recording — yet another example of Iowa criminalizing the tools of undercover journalism and investigations in violation of the First Amendment. It is Iowa’s fourth law attempting to hamper investigations and suppress speech.

  • August 10, 2021

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit hands the Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition partners a partial win in our challenge to Iowa’s first Ag-Gag law, affirming the lower court’s ruling striking down one portion of the law. The appeals court agrees the law’s criminalizing of making false statements to gain employment at an agricultural production facility violates the Constitution, but holds that another provision is not unconstitutional.

  • August 9, 2021

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit rules in favor of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition partners, overturning a lower court ruling finding the coalition lacked standing to challenge Arkansas’ Ag-Gag law in its action against a pig factory farm and chicken slaughterhouses. The appeals court agrees that the Animal Legal Defense Fund and the coalition can proceed with the lawsuit, and sends the case back to the District Court for consideration on the merits.

  • June 12, 2020

    The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina rules that North Carolina’s Ag-Gag law is unconstitutional and violates First Amendment rights. The law said that organizations and journalists who conduct undercover investigations, and individuals who expose improper or criminal conduct by North Carolina employers, are susceptible to suit and substantial damages if they make such evidence available to the public or the press.

  • January 22, 2020

    The U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas strikes down nearly all of Kansas’s Ag-Gag law for violating the First Amendment. The law, which gagged free speech by banning undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses, had deterred undercover investigations at animal facilities, including factory farms, for nearly three decades.

  • December 2, 2019

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issues a preliminary injunction, preventing the state from enforcing its second Ag-Gag law while our lawsuit proceeds. The court also denies Iowa’s attempt to have the lawsuit dismissed.

  • September 3, 2019

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition file a motion for summary judgment in our lawsuit challenging North Carolina’s Ag-Gag law.

  • June 25, 2019

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Arkansas’ Ag-Gag law, a law that prohibits undercover investigations that expose abuses at factory farms and other businesses throughout the state.

  • April 22, 2019

    A coalition of public interest groups, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s new Ag-Gag law — a law substantively similar to the Iowa law struck down earlier in 2019.

  • February 15, 2019

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issues a judgment declaring Iowa Code §717A.3A (the Iowa Ag-Gag statute) unconstitutional and enjoined in its entirety. The judgment prohibits the state from enforcing the law.

  • January 9, 2019

    The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa rules Iowa’s Ag-Gag law unconstitutional and in violation of the First Amendment.

  • December 4, 2018

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and a coalition of public interest groups file a lawsuit in Kansas challenging the constitutionality of the state’s Ag-Gag law, which makes it a crime to document animal cruelty at factory farms and slaughterhouses.

  • June 5, 2018

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit reverses the District Court’s decision and reinstates the Animal Legal Defense Fund’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of North Carolina’s Ag-Gag law.

  • January 4, 2018

    The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit becomes the first federal appellate court to strike down provisions of an Ag-Gag law, holding that Idaho’s ban on recording conditions at factory farms and slaughterhouses violates the First Amendment.

  • October 10, 2017

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition file a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, challenging Iowa’s Ag-Gag law on the grounds that it violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

  • July 7, 2017

    The U.S. District Court in Utah declares Utah’s Ag-Gag statute unconstitutional.

  • May 31, 2016

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund, PETA, and Salt Lake City resident Amy Meyer file a motion for summary judgment in their challenge to Utah’s notorious Ag-Gag law, seeking to have the law formally struck down as unconstitutional.

  • August 3, 2015

    Idaho Ag-Gag law ruled unconstitutional by the U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho.

  • March 17, 2014

    Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition file Ag-Gag lawsuit against the state of Idaho.

  • July 22, 2013

    The Animal Legal Defense Fund and coalition file the nation’s first Ag-Gag lawsuit, against the state of Utah.

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