Two Iowa Newspapers Back Lawsuit Challenging Iowa Ag Gag Law

Since we filed our challenge challenge to Iowa's Ag Gag law earlier this month, two Iowa newspaper editorial boards have weighed in with support for the suit and against the Iowa law.

The Des Moines Register, the state's largest newspaper writes:

[A]g gag laws in Iowa and other states are based on the twisted notion that when it comes to exposing violations and problems in the nation's food chain, the government must protect the private interests of industry even if it means putting the public at risk.

These laws impose criminal penalties even in cases where all of the public disclosures are truthful, accurate and in the public interest. In other words, they make it illegal to speak the truth, which is contrary to the fundamental American principle of free speech.

How is a livestock operation harmed by the reporting of facts, unless those facts reveal uncomfortable truths?

The Quad City Times declared that the "'Ag Gag' is an affront to free speech":

Iowa lawmakers knew they were flogging their oath of office in 2012, when they criminalized filming on farms. Then-Gov. Terry Branstad was fully aware that he was probably stomping on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution when he signed the colloquially named "Ag Gag" into law. 

None of that mattered, though. Serving special interests -- in this case, industrial farms -- trumped basic respect for constitutional principles. And, now, that disdain for free speech could be exposed for the rank patronage it was.

The public sees these laws for the special interest protections that they are. We hope to show the court that Iowa's Ag Gag law is an unconstitutional restraints on animal rights activists' First Amendment rights.