Utah AG Gag Law

AG GAG LAWS: The Utah Legislature approved a bill in 2012 that makes it a class B misdemeanor to trespass on private livestock or poultry operations and record sound or images without the owner's permission. It also prohibits seeking employment with the intent of making those recordings. Leaving a recording device for that purpose is a class A misdemeanor.

The law does not criminalize the possession or distribution of unlawful recordings, but focuses on trespassing and filming while on the property, according to the state.

Journalists sued, claiming the law violates their rights to free speech. They contend the law criminalizes undercover investigations and videography at slaughterhouses, factory farms and other agricultural operations, and suppresses speech that is critical of the industry:

"While no journalist has the right to trespass on private property, the overbreadth of the Utah statute poses a substantial risk of criminalizing lawful — and constitutionally protected — newsgathering activity," according to the brief."

Does the prohibition on filming violate the 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech? Explain your answer by applying the property legal standard to the facts above.

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