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Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Vaught

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  1. Newsgathering

The Reporters Committee filed an amicus brief in Animal Legal Defense Fund, et al. v. Jonathan and DeAnn Vaught, et al., currently pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, in support of the ALDF’s opposition to motions to dismiss its constitutional challenge to Arkansas’s “ag-gag” law. “Ag-gag” laws in several other states (including Idaho, Utah, and Wyoming) have previously been found unconstitutional, as they target the heart of the First Amendment, often drawing distinctions based on the content and viewpoint of protected speech. Arkansas’s law, specifically, punishes recording “images or sound occurring within” an agricultural facility “and using the recording in a manner that damages the employer.” The Reporters Committee’s amicus brief focuses on the impact that this law has on members of the news media who wish to report on dangerous working conditions, environmental contamination, and inhumane treatment of animals on industrial farms, as the law chills reporter-source communications and stifles investigative journalism.


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