Challenge to Idaho’s Ag-Gag Law to Continue
BOISE, Idaho (AP) — A federal judge has denied Idaho’s request to dismiss a lawsuit arguing that the recently passed law criminalizing surreptitious recording at agriculture facilities is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill says in a ruling issued Thursday that the case raises First Amendment concerns because it restricts protected speech. However, Winmill added that he is dismissing Gov. C. L. “Butch” Otter as a defendant from the case because Otter does not directly oversee enforcing the law.
Animal rights, civil liberties and environmental groups are suing the state to overturn the so-called “ag-gag” law. The law, which lawmakers passed in February, was backed by Idaho’s $2.5 billion annual dairy industry.