On June 22, 2017 and September 15, 2017, we blogged about “ag-gag” laws – laws intended to prevent undercover access to agricultural production facilities for the purpose of finding and disclosing unethical behavior. These laws have met with varying fates in the federal courts.
In 2012, the Iowa legislature passed an ag-gag law, making it a misdemeanor to obtain access to an agricultural production facility by false pretenses or to obtain employment at such a facility by such means.
On October 10, 2017, the Animal Legal Defense Fund and several other pro bono organizations filed suit for declaratory and injunctive relief against Iowa’s ag-gag law. The suit alleges that the statute violates the First Amendment, both facially and as applied, in that it is a content-based restriction on efforts to obtain information about mistreatment of animals. The suit also alleges that the statute was motivated by animus against the plaintiffs and hence violates due process and equal protection.