Judge Refuses Iowa's Request to Toss Ag Gag Lawsuit

The federal court for the Southern District of Iowa today denied the Iowa's motion to dismiss our lawsuit challenging the Iowa Ag Gag statute.

My office has represented challengers to Ag Gag laws in Utah, Idaho, North Carolina, and most recently, Iowa. Soon after we filed the lawsuit, the state moved to have it dismissed, claiming that the law did not violate anyone First Amendment rights and, even if it did, the coalition of plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the law.

In an opinion that the Court itself characterized as "delicate and disciplined," the Court rejected Iowa's arguments and found that the challengers stated valid First Amendment claims. In so doing, the Court built on our previous judicial victories in Utah and Idaho and noted that the Iowa law suffers from various First Amendment problems, which may put the writing on the wall for the Iowa Ag Gag law's eventually demise.

The plaintiffs in the case are the Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the Center for Food Safety, Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement, and Bailing Out Benji. My co-counsel includes wonderful lawyers at ALDF, the ACLU of Iowa, CFS, Public Justice, and the University of Denver School of Law.