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Thread: Tennessee AG Labels Ag-Gag Law Constitutionally Suspect :)

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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    Tennessee AG Labels Ag-Gag Law Constitutionally Suspect :)

    Stephen Wells ‏@StephenEWells 3h Breaking: Tennessee Atty. General says #AgGag bill violates 1st Amendment http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130509/NEWS0201/305090083/Tennessee-AG-Ag-bill-constitutionally-suspect-?nclick_check=1 … #StopAgGag @carrieunderwood @will_potter




    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...nclick_check=1

    Tennessee’s proposed “Ag Gag” law suffered a setback Thursday when the state’s attorney general labeled it “constitutionally suspect” and said it could violate freedom of the press and the right against self-incrimination.


    The bill, awaiting either Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature or veto, would force anyone who purposefully took pictures or video of livestock abuse to turn those over to law enforcement within 48 hours. That limits the media, incriminates those who captured the video through trespassing and exposes police to copyright problems should the public ask for copies, Attorney General Robert Cooper wrote.


    Haslam has until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill, his spokesman confirmed, but the governor’s office offered no further comment. If he took no action at all it would pass into law automatically, with those who broke it facing a $50 fine.


    The opinion came as no surprise to Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, who said he expected a veto.

    --continued at site--------------------------------------------------
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    Carrie Fans Maniac kewlie78189's Avatar
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    I really honestly don't know what to say about this stuff anymore...

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    mbh
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    Quote Originally Posted by teesharky View Post
    Stephen Wells ‏@StephenEWells 3h Breaking: Tennessee Atty. General says #AgGag bill violates 1st Amendment http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130509/NEWS0201/305090083/Tennessee-AG-Ag-bill-constitutionally-suspect-?nclick_check=1 … #StopAgGag @carrieunderwood @will_potter




    http://www.tennessean.com/article/20...nclick_check=1

    Tennessee’s proposed “Ag Gag” law suffered a setback Thursday when the state’s attorney general labeled it “constitutionally suspect” and said it could violate freedom of the press and the right against self-incrimination.


    The bill, awaiting either Gov. Bill Haslam’s signature or veto, would force anyone who purposefully took pictures or video of livestock abuse to turn those over to law enforcement within 48 hours. That limits the media, incriminates those who captured the video through trespassing and exposes police to copyright problems should the public ask for copies, Attorney General Robert Cooper wrote.


    Haslam has until Wednesday to either sign or veto the bill, his spokesman confirmed, but the governor’s office offered no further comment. If he took no action at all it would pass into law automatically, with those who broke it facing a $50 fine.


    The opinion came as no surprise to Rep. Mike Stewart, D-Nashville, who said he expected a veto.

    --continued at site--------------------------------------------------
    AWESOME news! Do not WASTE the "TAX PAYER'S MONEY", Governor Haslam! VETO! VETO! VETO!

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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    This vindicates Carrie's position, and says her "shut up and sing" criticism was even more unjust. Hope he vetos!

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    OK
    I gotta be missing something.. the penalty for breaking this law(if it becomes law) is $50? Talk about a worthless law even if it becomes law.. There will easily be organizations who will be willing to pay the $50 fine.
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    Huge Carrie Follower gran29's Avatar
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    I wonder if Holt is going to tell the AG to shut up.

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    mbh
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    Quote Originally Posted by jimshoe View Post
    OK
    I gotta be missing something.. the penalty for breaking this law(if it becomes law) is $50? Talk about a worthless law even if it becomes law.. There will easily be organizations who will be willing to pay the $50 fine.
    I THINK, the active sponsors of the BILL just want to confiscate the video to PREVENT ACCUMULATION OF SOLID EVIDENCE for prosecution and HUMILIATION for the animal cruelty. "sco" knows better, though.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan clh_hilary's Avatar
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    Asking people to 'shut up and sing' in itself a violation of the freedom of speech/expression.
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    sco
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbh View Post
    I THINK, the active sponsors of the BILL just want to confiscate the video to PREVENT ACCUMULATION OF SOLID EVIDENCE for prosecution and HUMILIATION for the animal cruelty. "sco" knows better, though.
    I think you are correct about the bill's intention. I also think people are correct that organizations will simply ignore it and pay the fine. I'm not a lawyer but I think the sticky thing is if video isn't turned over they can claim that since it was illegally obtained that it can't be used in a court case. Do any of the lawyers on here know how that works? It was pretty telling that the AG opinion pointed out that this bill is clearly not intended to protect animals since it only applies to livestock and to videotapes not any other evidence of cruelty. Thengoodmthing about the AG opinion is that it gives the governor political cover. He probably doesn't want to appear to be caving to celebrity pressure. It's funny because I don't think he should make his decision based on who is against it but on why they are against it. They are clearly correct in this case.

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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    You are correct sco- completely- and that ispretty impressive for a non lawyer. I think they are trying to keep the videos out of court for one, and I think they are hoping to deter whistleblowers as well as prevent evidence gathering. The background of Holt as a pig farmer and hater of HSUS is telling. He has a specific agenda and it is not to help animals.

    If an animal activist gets arrested under the new law asap they can challenge his conviction and the statute all the way to the highest Court of TN- assuming the lower courts do nothing which is usually the case. However that will take awhile to work itself out-- so the best sokution isto beto the bill before it goes any farther.
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    sco
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    Did you see the story from another state (I think it was Utah but I'm working from memory) where a woman was arrested for taking video of a meat packing plant from a public street through the fence? It will be interesting to see what happens with that one.
    gna, teesharky, mbh and 1 others like this.

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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Ann055's Avatar
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    Gov. Haslam has VETOED the bill:

    https://news.tn.gov/node/10688

    Now, we'll see what the general assembly does -- they had better be changing language of the bill substantially or starting over w/a new bill.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Ann055's Avatar
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    @carrieunderwood
    Great news! http://t.co/1JdXIxrXdK
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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    So happy! Carrie's first foray into politics was a grand success! I think we should tweet @BillHaslam to thank him for doing the right thing!

    Awesome news!
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    Insane Carrie Fan carebear4eva's Avatar
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    Dat impact :'( :'(

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    Carrie Fans Legend teesharky's Avatar
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    Haha I guess all the emails and calls, etc- that the Gov got about this bill from Carrie fans and animal right's groups really worked! Plus Ginnifer Goodwin, Emmy Lou Harris, and Wynonna helped too.
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    Obsessed Carrie Fan PRGuy79's Avatar
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    Wow! What an impact! Isn't it amazing to consider the power Carrie can wield by sending a 140-character tweet through social media?!? I know that this was a team effort, for sure, but I feel like it was Carrie's tweet that brought the attention to this... Proud of her for speaking out for something she believes in so strongly!
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  • #18
    sco
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    Quote Originally Posted by teesharky View Post
    Haha I guess all the emails and calls, etc- that the Gov got about this bill from Carrie fans and animal right's groups really worked! Plus Ginnifer Goodwin, Emmy Lou Harris, and Wynonna helped too.
    I think the Attorney General, the ACLU, and the TN Press Association actually had more to do with the actual veto decision but Carrie and the other celebrities certainly brought attention to the issue. I do have a question for the lawyers out there. What would they have to do make it pass constitutional muster. My novice opinion is that they can accomplish their stated goal, ensuring that abuse is reported promptly, fairly easily by allowing anonymous reports, making it apply to all animal abuse not just livestock, and removing the requirement that the reporter turn over their evidence. I personally believe their true goal is to protect agri business from being made to look bad when groups release video to the public. I don't see how they can do that without stepping all over the first amendment. I don't have any trouble believing there are individuals and/or groups that have engaged in grandstanding. However, libel and slander are already illegal so if a group were to release videos that are false or grossly misleading they can already be prosecuted. I just don't see how they need a special law to give agri business special protection.

    I live in Texas and we have a really weird system where the legislature only meets for a short time every two years. If this were Texas they would be stuck until the next session two years from now short of a special session called by the Governor. I don't know how the TN legislature is set up but I think their current session is over.

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    Hmm, I wonder what Andy has to say, he sure had plenty to say before he was made to look a fool in the national media then he shut his mouth.
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    Ultimate Carrie Fan Ann055's Avatar
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    There's a poll in this article asking if you believe it was correct for the Governor to veto the bill. Please participate if you wish to do so.

    Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam vetoing ?ag gag? bill | timesfreepress.com

    Currently, it's 92% agree with the veto.
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