United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
LYNN WINMILL CHIEF U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE.
the Court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Declaratory Judgment
(Dkt. 140). For the reasons explained below, the Court will
deny the motion.
February 2014, Idaho enacted a law criminalizing
“interference with agricultural production” to
protect its farmers. See Idaho Code § 18-7042.
Under this statute, a person interferes with agricultural
production by knowingly:
(a) entering an agricultural production facility by force,
threat, misrepresentation, or trespass if the person is not
employed at the facility;
(b) obtaining records of an agricultural production facility
by force, threat, misrepresentation or trespass;
(c) obtaining employment with an agricultural production
facility by force, threat, misrepresentation, or trespass
with the intent to cause economic or other injury to the
facility's operations, livestock, crops, owners,
personnel, equipment, buildings, premises, business interests
or customers; or
(d) entering an agricultural production facility that is not
open to the public, and, without the facility owner's
express consent or pursuant to judicial process or statutory
authorization, makes audio or video recordings of the conduct
of an agricultural production facility's operations.
Idaho Code § 18-7042(1)(a)-(d).
after Idaho passed this legislation, the Animal Legal Defense
Fund and various other animal rights organizations
(collectively, “ALDF”) sued, alleging that the
statute violated the Free Speech and Equal Protection clauses
of the First and Fourteenth Amendments. This Court agreed; in
November 2015, it granted plaintiffs' motion for partial
summary judgment on their First Amendment and Equal
Protection claims, concluding that all four challenged
subsections of Idaho Code § 18-7042(1) violate the First
and Fourteenth Amendments.
appealed, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed in part and reversed
in part. See Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Wasden,
878 F.3d 1184 (9th Cir. 2018). The Ninth Circuit
affirmed the Court's ruling on subsections (1)(a) and
(d), concluding that “Idaho's criminalization of
misrepresentations to enter a production facility, §
18-7042(1)(a), and ban on audio and video recordings of a
production facility's operations, § 18-7042(1)(d),
cover protected speech under the First Amendment and cannot
survive constitutional scrutiny.” Id. at 1190.
But the Ninth Circuit reversed on subsections (1)(b) and (c),
stating that in accordance with United States v.
Alvarez, 567 U.S. 709 (2012), “Idaho's
criminalization of misrepresentations to obtain records and
secure employment are not protected speech under the First
Amendment and do not violate the Equal Protection
Clause.” Id. The Ninth Circuit instructed this
Court to modify its permanent injunction accordingly.
Id. at 1205.
however, say that this Court should not just modify its
permanent injunction. They ask the Court to also enter a
separate declaratory judgment clarifying the Ninth
Circuit's ruling on subsection (1)(c). Subsection (1)(c)
deals with making misrepresentations to get a job, and
plaintiffs say their undercover investigators make
misrepresentations when applying for jobs at agricultural
production facilities. For example, they might falsely deny
affiliations with animal rights groups or deny having a
degree in journalism.
ask the Court to issue a blanket declaration that Idaho Code
§ 18-7042(1)(c), as interpreted by the Ninth Circuit,
“does not apply to the employment-based undercover
investigations that Plaintiffs undertake.” Motion
Mem., Dkt. 14-1, at 5. Alternatively, plaintiffs ask the
Court to issue a declaratory ...