Iowa's New Ag Gag Law Causes Controversy and Another Lawsuit, SPM News, 5:32

Apr 22, 2019

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Some Republican lawmakers in Iowa say they want to limit the powers of the state's attorney general, citing frustration that the Democrat joined lawsuits opposing the actions of President Donald Trump.

Attorney General Tom Miller joined six lawsuits in 2018 that aimed to obstruct Trump's policies, which included separating families of immigrants on the southern U.S. border and requiring additional citizenship information on the 2020 census.

The ACLU of Iowa is suing the state over a law the group says prevents investigations of farm facilities like puppy mills.

The law, known as Ag Gag 2.0, says anyone who lies in order to gain access to a farm and intends to cause harm, can be charged with trespassing.

It was passed after the original was thrown out by a federal court. ACLU of Iowa legal director, Rita Bettis Austen, says the two are essentially the same.

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The new law like the old law purports to criminalize trespass. The old law purported to criminalize fraud. But it targets squarely protected speech. Especially using undercover investigative methods.

When she signed the new law, Reynolds said it was necessary for the safety and biosecurity of Iowa farms.