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People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Inc. v. Stein

ELR Citation: 50 ELR 20149
Nos. 1:16CV25, (M.D.N.C., 06/12/2020) (Schroeder, J.)

A district court ruled unconstitutional provisions of a North Carolina statute that restricted undercover investigations of facilities and farms where animal testing or processing takes place. Nonprofit groups argued that provisions of the statute violated the First Amendment because they failed the requisite scrutiny and were unconstitutionally overbroad. The court found that two of the provisions were unconstitutional as applied to the groups and two other provisions were unconstitutional both facially and as applied, but that the statute did not cover a substantial amount of protected activity to render it overbroad. The groups also argued provisions of the statute were unconstitutionally vague and violated the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, but the court found that the provisions were neither impermissibly vague nor enacted out of animus toward groups like these. It therefore permanently enjoined enforcement of the provisions it determined were either unconstitutional as applied to the groups or unconstitutional both facially and as applied.