Animal Protection > ALF Foes
Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act: U.S. Asks Judge To Dismiss Lawsuit Against 2006 Law
BOSTON -- The federal government asked a judge Wednesday to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of animal rights activists who say a rarely used 2006 law has a chilling effect on lawful protest activities.
Five activists represented by the Center for Constitutional Rights sued the U.S. government last year, asking that the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act be struck down as unconstitutional.
A Justice Department attorney on Wednesday argued that the law is not aimed at constitutionally protected activities such as leafleting, writing letters to newspaper editors or peaceful protests.
"It is not aimed at speech. Rather, it is aimed at violent, destructive conduct," said Deanna Durrett, an attorney in the Justice Department's civil division.
But the activists say the law is vague and has left them afraid to participate in public protests.