Challenging Wisconsin’s Hunting Statute as a First Amendment Violation
Joseph Brown v Jeffery L Kemp
The Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to strike down a Wisconsin statute banning photographing, videotaping, approaching, or even “maintaining a visual or physical proximity to” a hunter.
Awaiting Decision on Motion to Dismiss
In 2017, the Animal Legal Defense Fund filed a lawsuit in federal court aiming to strike down a Wisconsin statute banning photographing, videotaping, approaching, or even “maintaining a visual or physical proximity to” a hunter. In addition to criminal penalties, the law subjects violators to civil lawsuits brought by the hunters and trappers themselves.
The lawsuit argues that the law’s restrictions violate the First Amendment — the same constitutional rights two federal judges ruled had been violated by Idaho’s and Utah’s Ag-Gag statutes. Just like these Ag-Gag laws, we argued that the Wisconsin statute at issue is unconstitutional for suppressing speech critical of animal exploitation.
The three plaintiffs in the lawsuit, represented by attorneys from the Animal Legal Defense Fund and a Milwaukee-based law firm, are Wisconsin residents who, as a documentarian, journalist and activist, each rely on the types of monitoring the statute prohibits. The plaintiffs say hunters in the state have been emboldened by the law’s protections, leading to more frequent and aggressive confrontations.
A dangerous bill, SB 1884, aimed at stopping whistleblowers from exposing animal cruelty is moving quickly through the Texas legislature. This bill has already passed the Texas Senate – your voice is urgently needed to prevent it from becoming law.
Please call (preferred) or email your representative and ask them to oppose SB 1884 – a dangerous bill aimed at stopping whistleblowers from exposing animal cruelty. This bill has already passed the Texas Senate – your voice is urgently needed!
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