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Iowa Appealing Federal Ruling Against Ag-gag Rule

Iowa Appealing Federal Ruling Against Ag-gag Rule
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Iowa is appealing a federal court ruling against the state’s ‘ag-gag’ rule. Iowa attorney general Tim Miller filed the appeal against a federal ruling deeming the regulation unconstitutional. The rule has been in effect since 2012 and made it illegal for activists to lie to gain access to livestock operations and shoot unauthorized video, according to meat industry publication Meatingplace.

The 2012 law was aimed at preventing activists from gaining access to farms and packing plants on false pretenses in order to videotape and publicize potentially unflattering activity, but a federal judge ruled that the law hinders free speech.

In filing the appeal, Miller says the defendants “submit there is substantial ground for difference of opinion” as to whether law restricts protected speech in violation of the First Amendment.

Miller says the Supreme Court has held “false speech” that imposes a legally recognized harm or provides a material gain to the speaker is not protected under the First Amendment.

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