The result brings an end to a yearslong fight by Laura Belin, who operates the Bleeding Heartland blog, to gain access to the House floor as a member of the press.
Judge Stephen Locher’s preliminary injunction halts enforcement of the law, which has already had resulted in the removal of hundreds of books from Iowa schools.
The lawsuit is the second in the past week to challenge the law, which bans books with sexual content all the way through 12th grade. An exception is allowed for religious texts.
Gov. Kim Reynolds, who signed the measure into law, defended it as “protecting children from pornography and sexually explicit content.”
Iowa has joined the growing list of states where the legislature has introduced a bill mandating what can and cannot be taught in its public schools, in clear opposition to the First Amendment.
The judge is asking the family to submit a new complaint based only on whether the family's dairy farm knowingly hired undocumented workers. The new complaint will also have to contain a new argument showing actual malice.
In his 48-page opinion, District Judge C.J. Williams ruled that none of the 11 allegedly defamatory statements were grounds for defamation. Some, such as Lizza’s claims that Nunes and his family were keeping a “secret,” Williams dismissed because they were too ambiguous to be actionable.
The newest law is the state’s second attempt to stop journalists and activists from going undercover to report on meat processing plants, livestock facilities, and puppy mills. An older version of the bill was struck down as unconstitutional in January.