Judge Strikes Down Idaho ‘Ag-Gag’ Law, Raising Questions For Other States – LUKE RUNYON `AUGUST 04, 2015 5:26 PM ET

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Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and North Carolina have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations.

Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa and North Carolina have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations.


Idaho’s so-called “ag-gag” law, which outlawed undercover investigations of farming operations, is no more. A judge in the federal District Court for Idaho decided Monday that it was unconstitutional, citing First Amendment protections for free speech.

But what about the handful of other states with similar laws on the books?

Laws in Montana, Utah, North Dakota, Missouri, Kansas and Iowa have also made it illegal for activists to smuggle cameras into industrial animal operations. A new North Carolina law goes into effect in January 2016. But now those laws’ days could be numbered, according to the lead attorney for the coalition of animal welfare groups that sued the state of Idaho.

“This is a total victory on our two central constitutional claims,” says University of Denver law professor Justin Marceau, who represented the plaintiff, the Animal Legal Defense Fund, in the case. “Ag-gag laws violate the First Amendment and Equal Protection Clause. This means that these laws all over the country are in real danger.”

“Ag-gag” refers to a variety of laws meant to curb undercover investigations of agricultural operations, often large dairy, poultry and pork farms. The Idaho law criminalized video or audio recording of a farm without the owner’s consent and lying to a farm owner to gain employment there to do an undercover investigation.

Other “ag-gag” laws require that animal abuse be reported within a specific time frame, a tactic animal activists say is meant to prevent them from gathering evidence of an abuse pattern rather than just a singular event.

Utah’s “ag-gag” law is the subject of another federal lawsuit, filed by the ALDF and PETA. Other states’ laws go back to the early 1990s when Kansas passed criminal penalties for anyone found to damage or harm an agricultural research facility. Iowa’s statute is considered to be the first in a batch of more recent “ag-gag” laws. Signed into law in 2012, it was the first to criminalize secretly videotaping a farm without the owner’s permission.

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Legalized pot in Idaho: ‘Not in our state’ – by Sameen Amin August 14, 2014 2:30PM ET

Idaho’s stance against legalizing marijuana is one of the toughest in the U.S., but could a 7-year-old boy change that?

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BOISE, Idaho – In Idaho, old perceptions remain true: the potatoes are plentiful, the landscape is lovely and the population is reliably Republican. But in the last year, the state has gained a reputation for a different reason. While states in the Northwest have been at the forefront of the national movement to legalize pot, Idaho has held firm.

Five of the six states surrounding Idaho permit some form of legal marijuana use. Insistent that it won’t be joining them, Idaho lawmakers passed a resolution last year vowing to oppose the legalization of marijuana in any form, even medical. But the state’s rigid position is wavering, under pressure from an unlikely campaigner.

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Idaho lawmaker still allowed to carry concealed weapon despite lying about pleading guilty to rape By Travis Gettys Wednesday, November 13, 2013 11:44 EST

Mark Patterson

An Idaho lawmaker who had his concealed weapon permit revoked for lying about a long-ago guilty plea to rape can still legally carry a gun because his state exempts elected officials from the permit law.

State Rep. Mark Patterson (R-Boise) had his permit revoked after the Ada County sheriff discovered the lawmaker had lied twice, in 2007 and 2012, on his permit application by failing to disclose a 1974 guilty plea for assault with intent to commit rape in Florida.

Patterson said the plea deal, which resulted in withheld judgment, was the result of a “bizarre encounter” with a 46-year-old woman he claims “fabricated the incident because she was angry that I would not give her money.”

The woman told police that Patterson, then 21, forced her to have sex twice by threatening to have his doberman pinscher attack her.

Patterson claims the woman admitted to a private investigator hired by his family that she’d made up the incident, and he claims his memory of it was destroyed by 2003 chemotherapy treatment for the hepatitis C virus.

The first-year lawmaker, who was acquitted of rape three years later in an unrelated case in his hometown of Cincinnati, said the sheriff had targeted him for pushing a bill that would have outlined misdemeanor charges for law enforcement officers who enforce new federal gun-restriction laws that might be enacted.

Patterson accused the sheriff and Idaho Statesman reporter Dan Popkey of “a bare-knuckled campaign to intimidate me from serving the people of Idaho.”

“This whole thing is to silence me,” Patterson said.

Sheriff Gary Raney dismissed the lawmaker’s claims.

“The questions that Mr. Patterson raises and the allegations he makes are irrelevant to the fact that he lied on his initial application and his renewal application,” the sheriff said. “That and only that is the reason for our actions.”

Article continues: http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2013/11/13/idaho-lawmaker-still-allowed-to-carry-concealed-weapon-despite-lying-about-rape-conviction/