In Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds, 89 F.4th 1065 (8th Cir. 2024), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld Iowa Code Section 717A.3B(1)(a)-(b) (2019), prohibiting (1) using deception to access an agricultural production facility with intent to cause harm to the facility, and (2) using deception in an employment application, on a matter that would reasonably result in denial of employment at an agricultural facility, with the intent to cause harm to the facility. The statute’s intent requirements did not make the statute content-based or viewpoint-based such that it would trigger strict scrutiny. Judge Steven M. Colloton wrote the opinion, with Judge Raymond W. Gruender and Judge Jonathan A. Kobes joining.

8th Circuit SpotlightPreviously, the Iowa legislature had passed a law prohibiting (1) accessing an agricultural production facility by false pretenses and (2) making a false statement as part of an employment application at such a facility. Iowa Code § 717A.3A(1)(a)-(b) (2012). When considering that law, the Eighth Circuit interpreted United States v. Alvarez, 567 U.S. 709 (2012), to mean “that intentionally false speech undertaken to accomplish a legally cognizable harm may be proscribed,” and found that the statute had done just that, proscribing false statements undertaken to accomplish trespass. Animal Legal Defense Fund v. Reynolds, 8 F.4th 781, 786 (8th Cir. 2021) (ALDF I). As such, the statute’s access provision did not violate the First Amendment. But the Eighth Circuit struck down the employment provision, concluding it was not narrowly tailored because it encompassed immaterial fabrications by an applicant, such as an applicant “inflat[ing] his past attendance at the hometown football stadium.”