Fourth Circuit Enjoins North Carolina’s Ag-Gag Law

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit enjoined application of North Carolina’s ag-gag law “insofar as it applies to bar protected newsgathering activities [advocacy groups] wish[] to conduct.” The Fourth Circuit found that North Carolina’s argument that “undercover investigations in nonpublic areas … constitute unprotected speech” is a “dangerous proposition that would wipe the Constitution’s most treasured protections from large tranches of our daily lives. Fortunately, it has no basis in law.” The court declined to enjoin the “Property Protection Act” on its face, but did enjoin aspects of the law that interfere with undercover investigations by animal protection groups. The suit was brought by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc., Animal Legal Defense Fund, the Center For Food Safety, Food & Water Watch, Farm Sanctuary, the Government Accountability Project, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and Farm Forward.