“Last year, North Carolina made it nearly impossible for citizens to legally gather evidence on and report instances of wrongdoing — animals being mistreated by farm workers, for instance, or pollution being dumped into a stream. Now, a group of organizations is suing over the law, saying it tramples on North Carolinians’ constitutional rights.
“In the lawsuit, filed this week against North Carolina’s attorney general, the groups allege that North Carolina’s House Bill 405 “attacks the core values embodied by the federal and state constitutional protections of speech and the press” and “should be declared unconstitutional under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution.” The law in question allows business owners to sue people who take photos, video, or any other data from their property without their consent. That in and of itself presents constitutional questions, but it’s the law’s breadth that’s so concerning, said lead council for the case David Muraskin.
“This is a law designed to gag North Carolinian citizens,” Muraskin, a food safety and health attorney at Public Justice, said. “If you have a parent in a nursing home or a child in daycare, you should be concerned about this law.” thinkprogress.org
GR: If you suspect someone’s behavior is dangerous you should report it. But if you see potentially dangerous or illegal activity by a farmer in North Carolina, you can go to jail for reporting it.