Schmidt To U.S. Supreme Court: Law Is Constitutional

A Kansas law that protects agricultural property rights is constitutional and does not conflict with the First Amendment, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt has told the U.S. Supreme Court.

The attorney general filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review an August ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit.

That court held that a Kansas statute providing for enhanced criminal penalties when a person obtains access to an animal facility by deception and with the intent to cause harm violates the First Amendment rights of trespassers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit has upheld a similar Iowa law, creating a split of opinions among federal appeals courts.

The 10th Circuit decision striking down the Kansas statute was 2-1.

The dissenting judge would have upheld the statute, and concluded it does not violate the First Amendment.