Animal Cruelty Law & Free Speech


The Supreme Court will hear a case that claims a law banning the sale of videos of animal cruelty infringes on First Amendment Rights.

The specific case to come before the Court is that of Robert J. Stevens, who was sentenced the 37 months in prison for selling videos of dogfights.  It’s not as simple as it sounds, though, because the videos contained dogfights from decades ago or that took place in Japan, where dogfighting seems to be legal.  As the article points out, this means that:

it may well be a crime for an American to sell a video of a bullfight that took place in Spain, where bullfighting is legal, or of hunting or fishing out of season.

Personally, I am unsure of how videos of animal cruelty differs from videos of child pornography or murder.  It sounds like the Supreme Court will likely over-turn the law.

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