In recent years, more and more state legislatures have – at the urging of lobbyists representing factory farm operations and industrial food producers – taken up “Ag Gag” laws that shroud mega-farms in secrecy and make holding them accountable for pollution, unsafe working conditions and animal abuse difficult, if not impossible.
At Public Justice, we believe everyone has the right to know where their food comes from, how it is produced, and the health and environmental ramifications of factory farming. We also believe tax payers have a right to know if, and how, public lands such as national parks are being polluted in illegal and destructive ways. That’s why our Food Project has led the way in challenging these laws in court.
Working with a coalition of groups, we helped secure the very first court decision declaring an Ag Gag law unconstitutional. Idaho’s statute made it crime for employees to go undercover at a factory farm and report violations taking place at those facilities. The district court agreed with our argument that the state’s law blatantly violated the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution. The state has appealed our victory, and we are helping defend the decision before the Ninth Circuit. The argument to uphold this first-of-its-kind win will be on May 12th in Seattle.
- Memorandum in Support of Plaintiffs' Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (BriefMisc. Motions)
- District Court Ruling Denying Defendants' Motion to Dismiss (Court Opinion)
- Brief in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (BriefMotion for Summary Judgment)
- Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press Amicus Brief (AmicusBrief)
- Motion for Attoneys' Fees (Attorneys’ Fees and Costs)
- Declaration of Leslie A. Brueckner in Support of Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Attorneys’ Fees and Costs)
- Plaintiffs-Appellees' Answering Brief (Brief)