Court Enjoins Enforcement of Unconstitutional Ag-Gag Law
Today Judge B. Lynn Winmill issued the final judgment declaring Idaho’s Ag-Gag law unconstitutional and enjoining the state from enforcing the law. The judgment comes as the result of a ground-breaking lawsuit filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, alongside a broad-based public interest coalition of advocates for animals, workers, journalists, the environment, and consumers.
In August, Judge Winmill issued a 29-page written opinion, which held that the Ag-Gag statute was unconstitutional because it violated the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech, as well as the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. Judge Winmill observed that if the Ag-Gag law were allowed to stand, “The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech by undercover investigators and whistleblowers concerning topics of great public importance: the safety of the public food supply, the safety of agricultural workers, the treatment and health of farm animals, and the impact of business activities on the environment.”
Today’s judgment gives legal effect to the August opinion by formally declaring the Ag-Gag statute unconstitutional and permanently enjoining and prohibiting the state from enforcing the statute.
As of today, undercover investigations at agricultural facilities in Idaho are once again legal. These investigations reveal the routine animal suffering inherent in the production of animal products and shine a light on an industry shrouded in secrecy.
Public interest coalition cheers major victory in lawsuit to strike down law designed to quash undercover investigationsDecember 2, 2019 Press Release
Today, a coalition of public interest groups, led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Iowa’s new Ag-Gag law — a law that is substantively similar to an Iowa law struck down by the same federal court.April 22, 2019 Press Release
New Iowa legislation would make it a crime for a person to gain access to an agricultural production facility through deception if the person intends to cause an “injury” to the “business interest” of the facility.March 8, 2019 News