A federal judge will hear arguments beginning next Tuesday in a lawsuit filed by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals that accuses the Kansas State Fair of violating the animal rights group’s free speech rights. PETA filed the suit Monday that names the Kansas State Fair Board, the state and the fair’s general manager, Denny Stoecklein, as defendants.
U.S. District Judge J. Thomas Marten, Wichita, Kan., will preside over the hearing on PETA’s request for the court to block the restrictions placed on its booth for this year’s fair, which begins on Friday, Sept., 7, in Hutchinson. Marten has been called a staunch defender of the First Amendment.
At issue is a 13-minute video PETA wants to show at its booth at the Kansas State Fair containing undercover images from slaughterhouses and factory farms. The video, narrated by ex-Beatle and vegetarian Paul McCartney, is described as “gruesome” by PETA.