Idaho court strikes down anti-whistleblower "ag-gag" law

Many agriculture-heavy states have passed laws criminalizing recording videos of animal cruelty and illegal workplace and food hygiene practices, but one judge in Idaho isn't having any of it.

An ACLU-fought case has dealt a fatal blow to Idaho Code sec. 18-7042, which the court found to be an unconstitutional incursion on First Amendment rights. District judge Lynn Winmill took especial care to explain what a bunch of fucknuts the cowardly, traitorous Idaho politicians who created 18-7042 were, being especially critical of their comparisons between whistleblowing and terrorism:

A review of the legislative record in search of a legitimate purpose does nothing to help the State's cause…. The overwhelming evidence gleaned from the legislative history indicates that § 18-7042 was intended to silence animal welfare activists, or other whistleblowers, who seek to publish speech critical of the agricultural production industry. Many legislators made their intent crystal clear by comparing animal rights activists to terrorists, persecutors, vigilantes, blackmailers, and invading marauders who swarm into foreign territory and destroy crops to starve foes into submission. Other legislators accused animal rights groups of being extreme activists who contrive issues solely to bring in donations or to purposely defame agricultural facilities.

As the Supreme Court has repeatedly said, "a bare congressional desire to harm a politically unpopular group cannot constitute a legitimate governmental interest if equal protection of the laws is to mean anything." … As a result, a purpose to discriminate and silence animal welfare groups in an effort to protect a powerful industry cannot justify the passage of § 18-7042.

Idaho "Ag-Gag" Law Ruled Unconstitutional in Federal Court
[Kathy Griesmyer/ACLU]

Anti-Whistleblower 'Ag-Gag' Law Ruled Unconstitutional"> [Mike Masnick/Techdirt]