The U.S. Supreme Court has delivered a victory for animal rights groups and other activists by refusing to hear a case dealing with the so-called ‘ag-gag’ laws. The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals challenged North Carolina’s law that prevented companies from suing employees who made undercover video and audio recordings. “That law actually was enacted back in 2015 in response to a long-standing dispute between ABC News and the Food Lion grocery chain dating back into the 1990s,” said Roger McEowen, agricultural law professor, Washburn University. “At that time, PETA and other animal welfare groups challenged the law saying it violated the First Amendment and it eventually went to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals; they agreed with PETA that the law was unconstitutional when it was applied to their efforts to gather news.” North Dakota is one of many states that have similar ‘ag-gag’ laws. “They can expect to be challenged if they haven’t been challenged already. They’re basically back to the drawing board on these as to how to get around that First Amendment/free speech issue.”
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