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ag-gag laws

Next up for ag gag: Appeal to 10th U.S. Circuit expected soon

During oral arguments before an appellate panel in Seattle in May, questions were flying so fast at responding attorney Justin Marceau that at one point Judge M. Margaret McKeown told him he could slow down, there would be time for his answers. McKeown and Judges Carlos Bea and Richard Tallman are on the panel from the 9th… Continue Reading

Utah’s ‘ag-gag’ law is second to be found unconstitutional

Utah’s law criminalizing “both lying to get into an agricultural operation and filming once inside” violates the First Amendment and has been declared unconstitutional by Federal Judge Robert J. Shelby. The ruling announced late Friday by the U.S. District Court for Utah resolves the first lawsuit in the nation to challenge a state’s so-called ag-gag… Continue Reading

Idaho squares off with animal rights group before 9th Circuit

Oral arguments are expected to be scheduled in April in Seattle in an “ag-gag” appeal that has pitted Idaho officials against the Animal Legal Defense Fund in a constitutional battle. The case, Animal Legal Defense Fund et al v. Idaho Attorney General Lawrence G. Wasden, landed in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals after U.S. District Court Judge… Continue Reading

‘Ag-gag’ action moves from state houses to federal courts

State statutes making it impossible to get in and out of animal confinement areas without breaking the law are being challenged in at least four federal courts around the country. Among the issues that will be explored during a federal trial in Utah scheduled for later this year is whether professional journalists should have any… Continue Reading

Activists challenge NC’s new ‘ag-gag’ law in federal court

A third state was hauled into federal court Wednesday where it will have to defend its recently enacted law to protect the privacy of animal agriculture under the force of criminal law. North Carolina joined Idaho and Utah in being forced to defend an “ag-gag” law, legislation designed to make it more difficult for animal activists… Continue Reading

Federal Judge in Boise Strikes Down Idaho’s New ‘Ag-Gag’ Law

Idaho’s new “ag-gag” law is unconstitutional, U.S. District Court Judge B. Lynn Winmill ruled on Monday. A spokesman for Idaho’s attorney general said the state has not decided if it will appeal the decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in San Francisco. Idaho’s is the first “ag-gag” statute to be… Continue Reading

Letter From the Editor: Better a Civil Action

Opinion

It was U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis who said that “a state may, if its citizens choose, serve as a laboratory; and try novel social and economic experiments without risk to the rest of the country.” He meant that various state legislatures, especially over a period of years, may try different solutions to the… Continue Reading

Food-Safety Bills Start Popping up in State Legislatures

A Republican legislator in New Mexico wants to bail out the state’s school lunch program by using tax money to purchase $1.4 million in locally grown fruits and vegetables, which would then be provided to the schools without charge. State Rep. Jimmie C. Hall of Albuquerque, who is also executive director of the 4-H Development… Continue Reading

‘Ag-Gag’ Bill Introduced in the Washington State Legislature

A draft agriculture interference bill, which critics call an “ag-gag” proposal, has been introduced in the Washington State House of Representatives. The state’s annual legislative session was called to order Monday in Olympia. House Bill 1104, sponsored by state Reps. Joe Schmick (R-Colfax) and and J.T. Wilcox (R-Yelm), has been all but promised a hearing… Continue Reading

More ‘Ag-Gag’ Bills Could be Decided Before Courts Rule on Challenge

It’s unlikely that the constitutionality of the new “ag-gag” laws of Idaho and Utah will be known until after those states hold legislative sessions in 2015, and maybe even until after another round of lawmaking in 2016. The controversial “ag-gag” statutes, which prevent undercover investigations at animal agriculture facilities, were adopted in Utah in 2013… Continue Reading