Senior U.S. Judge Lynn Winmill overturned Idaho’s “Ag-Gag” law Monday in an order for summary judgment.
Winmill ruled against Gov. Butch Otter and Idaho Attorney General Lawrence Wasden who were sued by the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF).
Winmill based his ruling on the constitutional violation of the First Amendment right to free speech and the equal protection clause.
The ALDF group challenged the “Ag-Gag law which was passed by the legislature after undercover animal rights activists released video of dairy workers beating cows and dragging them behind a tractor at a SE Idaho dairy farm.
The legislature made it a crime to make video recordings of activities. They claimed the law was intended to protect private property, but Winmill said the law’s intent was to muffle free speech and restrict whistleblowers from revealing matters of public importance–like food production.
A spokesman for Attorney General Wasden offered “no comment” and said the office is “reviewing its options.
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