Over opposition from all across Idaho and beyond, the Idaho legislature in 2014 passed an “Ag Gag” law, gagging speech that is critical of industrial agriculture. Under this law, journalists, workers, activists, and members of the public could have been convicted for documenting animal cruelty, life-threatening worker safety violations, or threats to public health in our food supply. Promptly after the legislature passed the law, though, the ACLU of Idaho joined with a broad coalition, including the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), the Center for Food Safety, Farm Sanctuary, Western Watersheds Project, the Idaho Hispanic Caucus, and journalist Will Potter to challenge the law.
In August 2015, we won a federal court ruling that the law is unconstitutional because it violates both free speech and equal protection guarantees. The State of Idaho appealed that ruling and in January 2018 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed most of that ruling, striking down the core components of Idaho's Ag Gag statute.