prefix="og: http://ogp.me/ns#" Ag-Gag Unconstitutional: Huge Victory for Animals and People | Maryland Votes for Animals

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Ag-Gag Unconstitutional: Huge Victory for Animals and People


ALDF Fights Ag-Gag lawsA U.S. District Court has ruled (for the first time ever) that a state Ag-Gag law is unconstitutional! The case, filed by the Animal Legal Defense Fund, is a huge step in preventing notoriously harmful Ag-Gag legislation in Maryland and across the country. The court found an Idaho Ag-Gag law violated the 1st and 14th Amendments and was motivated by unconstitutional animus against animal advocates. 

Under Ag-Gag laws, journalists and members of the public are at risk for documenting animal cruelty or life-threatening safety violations.  In holding the Ag-Gag law unconstitutional, the Court found:

  • "ALDF has come forward with abundant evidence that the law was enacted with the discriminatory purpose of silencing animal rights activists who conduct undercover investigations in the agricultural industry."
  • "The effect of the statute will be to suppress speech...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."
  • "[A] purpose to discriminate and silence animal welfare groups in an effort to protect a powerful industry cannot justify the passage of [the law]."
  • "A state cannot pick and choose what type of speech or expressive conduct it will allow based on content."
  • "Protecting the private interests of a powerful industry, which produces the public’s food supply, against public scrutiny is not a legitimate government interest." 

Court ruling: http://aldf.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/8-3-2015-ALDF-decision-ag-gag.pdf

Info from ALDF: http://aldf.org/press-room/press-releases/idaho-ag-gag-law-ruled-unconstitutional-in-federal-court/

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