Tenn. 'Ag-gag bill' constitutionally suspect
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The state's attorney general has opined that legislation requiring anyone recording images of animal abuse to submit unedited footage or photos to law enforcement within 48 hours is constitutionally suspect.
Attorney General Robert Cooper said in the opinion issued Thursday that the bill is questionable on three grounds, including that its "reporting requirement could be found to constitute an unconstitutional burden on news gathering. "
A number of groups and celebrities have spoken out against the proposal. Critics say the measure would put an end to extended undercover operations targeting animal abuse.
Gov. Bill Haslam has the bill on his desk and said earlier this week that he was waiting on the attorney general's opinion before making a decision on whether to veto it or let it become law.