Iowa Ag-Gag I (ALDF v. Reynolds)

Iowa Ag-Gag I (ALDF v. Reynolds)

FarmSTAND, formerly the Food Project at Public Justice, serves as co-counsel in a challenge to Iowa’s first Ag-Gag law, which criminalizes undercover investigations at factory farms and slaughterhouses. This statute made it a crime to gain access to, or employment at, such a facility under false pretenses. The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa struck down the law as violating the First Amendment. The court held that the law penalizes and thereby chills First Amendment-protected activities based on the content of speech, and because it is not tailored to serve the State’s asserted interests. The State of Iowa appealed to the Eighth Circuit, which held the law’s prohibition on making misrepresentations to obtain a job — as long as those misrepresentations don’t include one’s qualifications for the job — was unconstitutional. The law’s prohibition on making misrepresentations to obtain access to an agricultural facility was remanded to District Court to determine if the law is viewpoint discriminatory.

District Case No.: 17-cv-362-JEG-HCA

Court of Appeals for Eighth Circuit Case No.: 19-1364

To learn more about FarmSTAND’s work on ag-gag laws in other states, see our page on Ag-Gag Litigation.


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