State not ready to accept "Ag Gag" law is unconstitutional

Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller didn’t ask state legislators to pass the country’s first “ag gag” law, and his office didn’t lobby in favor of banning “agricultural production facility fraud” while the bill was pending.

But the Attorney General’s office confirmed on February 21 that the state will appeal a federal court ruling against the 2012 law. The new court filing keeps up the pretense that a law designed to suppress investigative reporting was really about biosecurity and property rights.

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Federal court tossed lawsuit targeting Dakota Access pipeline protestors

In a victory for freedom of speech and association, a federal court last week “dismissed a $1 billion racketeering lawsuit that the developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline filed against environmental groups and activists, saying he found no evidence of a coordinated criminal enterprise,” Blake Nicholson reported for the Associated Press on February 14.

Two of the named defendants, Jessica Reznicek and Ruby Montoya, lived in Iowa when they repeatedly lit fires and used cutting torches to damage the Dakota Access pipeline. They later went into hiding, and Bleeding Heartland’s attempts to reach them for comment were unsuccessful.

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How to create activist judges

September Lau and Kimberly Graham make the case against a Republican effort to pack Iowa courts with conservatives. -promoted by Laura Belin

Ever since the 2009 Iowa Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage, conservative groups and legislators have attempted to reign in what they describe as an “activist” court. Never mind that that opinion, Varnum v. Brien, was a deliberate and thoughtful walk through equal protection analysis. Conservatives simply didn’t like the decision because it wasn’t the result they wanted.

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Why Iowa's not challenging Trump's emergency declaration--for now

Iowa is not among the sixteen states that filed suit yesterday to block what they called President Donald Trump’s “unconstitutional and unlawful scheme” to declare a national emergency in order to divert federal funds toward building a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

Attorney General Tom Miller has joined dozens of multi-state legal actions challenging Trump administration policies, and his office has not ruled out joining this lawsuit, communications director Lynn Hicks told Bleeding Heartland on February 19.

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Protecting Iowa's courts

Connie Ryan on the current Republican effort to pack the courts: “Iowans understand this legislation is intended to advance the specific political agenda of a small group with a loud voice, placing our courts in harm’s way.” -promoted by Laura Belin

Interfaith Alliance of Iowa jumped into the business of protecting Iowa’s fair and impartial courts upon the announcement by the religious right in the summer of 2010 that they intended to unseat three highly qualified Supreme Court justices. They were politicizing the retention elections simply because they were mad the court ruled for the marriage rights of same-sex couples based on equal protections under our constitution.

The thought of a special interest group seeking revenge on our courts for a constitutionally-based and unanimous decision was unprecedented and frightening. Iowans wondered if this was where the division in our country was really taking us? Would extremist, special interest groups actually go after highly qualified justices committed to the constitution and the rule of law as retribution? The answer was yes.

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