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Court will not hear PETA undercover recording case

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The Supreme Court will not weigh in on the constitutionality of a North Carolina law that allows employers to sue employees who make undercover video or audio recordings. The denial of review in North Carolina Farm Bureau v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Stein v. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals came as part of a list of orders – mostly denying review – released on Monday morning from the justices’ Oct. 13 conference. The court had previously granted review in four cases from that conference last Friday.

The law at the center of the North Carolina cases was enacted in 2015 in response to a dispute between ABC News and the grocery chain Food Lion in the 1990s. PETA and other food-safety and animal-welfare groups challenged the law, arguing that it violates the First Amendment. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit agreed with the challengers that the law is unconstitutional when applied to the groups’ efforts to gather news.

North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and a trade association representing North Carolina farmers asked the Supreme Court to review the 4th Circuit’s ruling. The justices considered the case at three consecutive conferences, but ultimately denied review without comment.

The justices once again did not act on several petitions for review that they considered at last Friday’s conference, including a challenge to a Washington state law that bars licensed therapists from practicing conversion therapy on children and the pair of cases challenging New York’s rent-stabilization regime.

The justices’ next conference is scheduled for Friday, Oct. 27.

This article was originally published at Howe on the Court. 

Recommended Citation: Amy Howe, Court will not hear PETA undercover recording case, SCOTUSblog (Oct. 16, 2023, 11:18 AM),