Free Minds & Free Markets

Idaho’s ‘Ag Gag’ Law Struck Down in Court: New at Reason

Ban on secretly recording livestock deemed unconstitutional.

cattleDanny Raustadt / Dreamstime.comLast week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that parts of Idaho's "ag gag" law are unconstitutional. The court upheld, in part, a U.S. District Court ruling from 2015 that found the Idaho criminal law runs afoul of the First Amendment.

Ag gag laws are on the books in seven states. As the Ninth Circuit explains, these laws "target[] undercover investigation of agricultural operations [and] broadly criminalize[] making misrepresentations to access an agricultural production facility as well as making audio and video recordings of the facility without the owner's consent."

Proponents of the Idaho law, including lawmakers, argued it was intended to "quash investigative reporting." A person convicted of violating the law faced up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000. Food law expert Baylen Linnekin explains more.

Photo Credit: Danny Raustadt /


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