Monday, October 05, 2009

Supreme Court to hear dogfighting video case

Brian Maloney summarizes Stevens v. United States here. The issue is an interesting one: whether the First Amendment protects videos depicting animal cruelty. The Third Circuit found that the First Amendment did in fact protect such videos. From ScotusBlog:

The en banc Third Circuit overturned Stevens’s conviction, holding that the statute was unconstitutional on its face as a content-based prohibition on protected speech. The court first held that the speech regulated by § 48 is protected under the First Amendment. In its view, only one of the established categories of unprotected speech – child pornography – is even somewhat similar to the speech prohibited under § 48. The Supreme Court’s opinion in New York v. Ferber, holding that child pornography is not protected speech, set forth a number of factors to consider when determining whether to “create” a new category of unprotected speech. Applying these factors to the case at hand, the Third Circuit emphasized that although preventing cruelty to animals is “appealing . . . to our sensibilities,” it is not a compelling governmental interest in the context of free speech. Thus, it held, § 48 fails strict scrutiny because “it serves no compelling government interest, is not narrowly tailored to achieve such an interest, and does not provide the least restrictive means to achieve such an interest.”

I had a similar case involving cockfighting videos, detailed here but the case never got ruled on as we had to voluntarily dismiss the complaint. Shoot, this could have been my ticket to the Supreme Court...


Anonymous said...

Nothing wrong with a great cockfight...but come on, there is just something really special about watching a pair of man's best friends trying to rip each other's livers out. F'ing sickos.

Rumpole said...

Ruff post. Hahahahahahaha.

I really should be head lining in Vegas.

Anonymous said...

This is great...if the Supremes rule our way, maybe we can set up some "off campus" fights and then sell the videos here. I have some wonderful ideas:

Lions (3) vs. Elephant

Crocodile vs. Bear

Lion vs. Christians (5 - unarmed)

Iguana (South Florida type) vs. Cat

AUSA vs. AFPD (3d years each -- armed only with their latest brief and an espresso mocachino)

and, for the grand finale...a 100 dog cage-match-grand-extravaganza (family pets and strays welcome)!!!

Anonymous said...

From the report on SCOTUSBLOG, it looks like the law is going down as overbroad. Too bad it didn't get applied to ESPN hunting shows earlier. Those things are horrible.