Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Supreme Court Rules Against Animal Cruelty Law

In an 8-1 decision today, the Supreme Court has struck down a federal law that made it illegal to depict violence against animals. The Supreme Court ruling, written by Justice Roberts states that the law was written overly broad and violated the First Amendment's right to free speech.

The federal law was enacted in 1999 to stop "crush videos". Crush videos are sexual fetish videos that depict women torturing or killing animals by stepping on them. However, the government never actually prosecuted any such case. Instead, the case brought to the Supreme Court was of a man who made videos of pit bulls fighting.

The Court ruled that this federal law was so broad that it would even ban hunting videos. "The First Amendment's guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits," Roberts wrote. However, the court did say that a narrower statute that was aimed at crush videos and other acts of "extreme animal cruelty" would be constitutional.

Read more at The Washington Post.


Dinah said...

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shay said...

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