Kansas Can No Longer Enforce Its So-Called ‘Ag-Gag’ Law

DTN writer Todd Neeley reported earlier this month that, “The state of Kansas can no longer enforce its so-called ‘ag-gag’ law after a federal judge on [April 3] granted a permanent injunction.

“On Jan. 22, 2020, the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas in Kansas City, Kansas, ruled the law was a violation of free speech. Two days later, animal rights groups led by the Animal Legal Defense Fund asked the court to issue a permanent injunction to prevent the state from enforcing the law.

“In motions filed with the court, the state indicated an injunction was not needed because it didn’t intend to enforce provisions deemed to be unconstitutional.”

The DTN article stated that, “‘Although defendants assert that they will abide by the court’s decision, as the law requires, their assertion gives plaintiffs little assurance that future defendants will not enforce the unconstitutional provisions against others who assert their First Amendment rights,’ District Judge Kathryn H. Vratil wrote in the order.”

Mr. Neeley indicated that, “A spokesperson for the Kansas Attorney General’s office told DTN, ‘We are disappointed with the ruling and we will be evaluating the next steps, including whether an appeal is warranted.’

Ag-gag laws across the country are aimed at thwarting undercover investigations of agriculture facilities in order to protect the business interests and property of farmers. Similar laws in other states have faced legal challenges.”

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