Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that Iowa’s Ag Gag Law, which made it a crime to go undercover investigations at factory farms and other animal agricultural facilities to expose cruelty, was unconstitutional. The court struck down the law under the First Amendment. A coalition of animals rights, food safety, and workers’ rights organization brought the case.
Now the Court has ordered the state to pay $181,623.13 to the attorneys who brought who the case. Federal law allows for courts to order states and local governments to pay the challengers’ legal fees if the court finds that the government’s actions were unconstitutional.
Together with the fees awarded after successfully striking down Utah and Idaho’s Ag Gag laws, these three states have been ordered to collectively pay for $600,000 for enacting and defending these unconstitutional laws.
We currently have cases pending against Kansas and North Carolina’s Ag Gag laws.