Constitutional in Idaho

Lynn Winmill, a federal judge [in Idaho] has ruled that Idaho’s law banning secret filming of animal abuse at agricultural facilities is unconstitutional.

Audio and visual evidence is a uniquely persuasive means of conveying a message, and it can vindicate an undercover investigator or whistle-blower who is otherwise disbelieved or ignored.

Prohibiting undercover investigators or whistle-blowers from recording an agricultural facility’s operations inevitably suppresses a key type of speech because it limits the information that might later be published or broadcast.

The state law passed at the behest of the dairy industry argued that films of animal abuse was hurting business. Too bad says the judge! (See the AP story.)

Let's see how this goes down in California where two restraining orders have been issued against David Daleiden & Co. for filming abortion providers talking about fetal parts for research and most recently lab technicians showing fetal hearts, livers, etc.

The irony of the contrast, I leave to your own thoughts and imaginations.

Margaret O'Brien Steinfels, a former editor of Commonweal, writes frequently in these pages.

Also by this author
Edward Luttwak's amazing career!

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