Speech Victories

Efforts to silence residents from speaking on agricultural policy are thankfully failing. Too bad these unconstitutional laws were enacted or proposed in the first place:

Laws meant to crack down on farm whistleblowers, commonly referred to as “ag gag” laws, have been drawing fire around the country from various quarters—from animal rights activists to free speech advocates. Detractors often refer to “ag gag” laws as such because these laws serve to gag or stifle the speech of persons who cry foul over some facets of animal agriculture….

While momentum appeared to favor ag gag laws this past autumn, two recent decisions have dealt a serious blow to that support.

Last month, a prosecutor in Utah brought the state’s first prosecution under its ag gag law, passed in 2012. Just as quickly as he had filed the case, though, prosecutor Ben Rasmussen dismissed it.

Then, earlier this week, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a conservative Republican, decided to veto the state’s proposed ag gag bill. Gov. Haslam, on the recommendation of his attorney general, rejected the bill as a violation of the constitutional rights of state residents.

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