Federal judge strikes down Iowa law on undercover ag workers
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A federal judge has stuck down a 2012 Iowa law that made it illegal to get a job at a livestock farm to conduct an animal cruelty undercover investigation.
Judge James Gritzner in an order filed Wednesday sided with opponents of a law intended to stop organizations like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals from doing animal abuse investigations at farms and puppy mills.
The judge found the law violates the First Amendment’s right to free speech.
Several groups filed a lawsuit in October 2017 in U.S. District Court in Des Moines. Federal courts have struck down similar laws in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Litigation is ongoing in North Carolina.
A spokesman for the Iowa attorney general’s office, which represented the state, says an appeal is under consideration.