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Announcement :: Police and Prisons
Pack the Court for Lawsuit Against AETA
21 Jan 2014
The Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act (AETA) is a federal criminal law ushered through Congress in 2006 by powerful lobbyists for the fur and meat industries and corporations and institutions that profit from animal research. It criminalizes a broad swath of protected First Amendment activities and has cast a chill over the animal rights community, leading many advocates to censor themselves. In 2011, Center for Constitutional Rights filed Blum v. Holder, a federal lawsuit in support of five animal rights activists chilled from engaging in lawful advocacy out of fear that their work would subject them to prosecution as terrorists under the AETA.

Pack the Court!

What: Oral Arguments in Blum v. Holder on the constitutionality of the AETA before the First Circuit Court of Appeals

When: Monday, February 3 at 9:30am (we suggest arriving 30 – 45 minutes early. ID will be required)

Where: John Joseph Moakley U.S. Courthouse, Court of Appeals Panel Courtroom, 1 Courthouse Way, 7th floor, Boston, MA, 02210

Blum was dismissed by the District Court on standing grounds in 2013. On February 3, CCR Senior Staff Attorney Rachel Meeropol will be asking the appellate court to strike down the AETA as an unconstitutional infringement on free speech.

Panel Discussion

What: From Terrorism to Activism: Moving from the Green Scare to Animal Rights, with CCR, the National Lawyers’ Guild Animal Rights Committee, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund at Suffolk University

When: After the oral argument, 5:30pm, Monday, February 3

Where: Suffolk University Law School, Faculty Dining Room, 120 Tremont St., Boston, MA 02114

The panel will feature CCR Senior Staff Attorney Rachel Meeropol in conversation with CCR Communications Associate and Blum Plaintiff Lauren Gazzola and Worcester Polytechnic Institute Associate Professor John Sanbonmatsu. Panelists will highlight intersections within the defense of animal rights activists by progressive legal organizations as part of their work protecting political activism and the right to dissent, and the emerging work of animal rights activists within the broader social justice community.

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