Skip to comments.Supreme Court rejects animal cruelty law, upholds free speech
Posted on 04/20/2010 12:06:54 PM PDT by napscoordinator
The US Supreme Court on Tuesday struck down a federal law that criminalized photographs and other depictions of animal cruelty, saying the law violated free speech rights protected by the First Amendment.
Supreme Court questions animal cruelty law Supreme Court to decide case on animal cruelty and free speech In an 8 to 1 ruling, the high court said the law was substantially overbroad and thus could not withstand constitutional scrutiny.
The majority opinion, written by Chief Justice John Roberts, criticized the Obama administration for proposing to the high court a balancing test that would pit the value of any speech against its societal costs
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
I did a google search and found this article. It was on FoxNews a bit earlier today.
My cat digs her claws into my legs, so
I took a picture of her animal cruelty to a human. My horse stepped on my foot in the stall and wouldn`t move while he bit me & pinned me against the stall. Can I publish the animal cruelty pics now?
I think animal welfare is a swell thing to get behind, as much as I think it is important to keep the oil changed in your car. People should take care of their stuff. But animal cruelty is not the business of the government, unless the animal to which you are being cruel is someone elses property. Then, of course, the same laws apply that would apply if you took a sledge hammer to your neighbors restored ‘57 Chevy.
That is the way it has been thruought history. What changed?
I think you can now...:)
Animal cruelty itself is already against the law. I don’t see the justification for adding the other law, other than stacking charges. Although this guy was only nailed on the speech part.
True...Alito must have had “feelings” on this case and not thought.
Good decision. . This is a slippery slope I dont think we should be going down.
I believe some huters thought it was overly broad, among others.
This is a good decision. The law in question was worded so broadly that one could get arrested for having a DVD of a John Wayne western which showed a cow being branded.
. . . or for depicting Obama as a fascist pig.
That was the biggest direct issue. Hunting videos are popular - but hunting is illegal in DC outright, so the videos would be illegal _everywhere_ because the depicted activity was illegal _somewhere_. There are plenty of variations on that point, rendering the law over-broad indeed.
Makes sense. Thanks.
The law was written back in 1999 to target “Crush Videos”, where scantily clad women stomp small animals to death. (Boy there are some really perverted people on the Internet)
I thought this was best line in the decision,
We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it reasonably.
As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage, that sentence is startling and dangerous, Chief Justice Roberts wrote.
The First Amendments guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social cost and benefits, he said. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the government outweigh the costs.
Very Good Decision
“Animal cruelty itself is already against the law.”
Yup. But recording that crime on video for kicks or to make money on it is “protected free speech.” The SC can go screw itself on this one.
There are lots of reasons for animal cruelty to be on film that aren’t for kicks or to make money. And this law was overbroad also.
Wait, this is about porn?!?! Oh well, then, the Court got it wrong.
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