Supreme Court Declines to Review North Carolina Ag-Gag Law

In October, the US Supreme Court denied a petition to review the Fourth Circuit ruling that struck down portions of the Property Protection Act—North Carolina’s latest ag-gag law—on the grounds that recording audio or video in nonpublic farm areas is a protected newsgathering activity under the First Amendment. The law ostensibly applied only to “double agent” employees—those who enter nonpublic areas of a business “for a reason other than a bona fide intent of seeking or holding employment or doing business with the employer.” It allowed businesses to collect damages from employees who “harm” their employers by exposing recordings or photographs taken secretly. The law was widely criticized for not allowing adequate protection for whistleblowers exposing illegal activity. 

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