Eighth Circuit Reinstates Two Iowa Ag-Gag Laws

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit reinstated two Iowa ag-gag laws: Iowa’s 2021 trespass-surveillance statute, which makes it a crime to “knowingly place[] or use[] a camera or electronic surveillance device” on trespassed property, and its 2019 agricultural trespass law, which prohibits the use of false pretenses to access agricultural production facilities. The Eighth Circuit rejected the advocacy organizations’ arguments that the laws violate the First Amendment, finding that both are sufficiently tailored to survive constitutional scrutiny, and vacated the permanent injunctions preventing their enforcement. The Animal Legal Defense Fund, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Bailing Out Benji, and Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement challenged both laws, with Food & Water Watch joining the challenge to the 2021 law and the Center for Food Safety joining the challenge to the 2019 law.