Why did the Supreme Court overturn a law banning animal cruelty fetish videos?

the current legislation is too vague. Technically the law could have been used to prosecute videos made about legal acts like fishing or hunting---which many animal rights groups would still support. However, ironically this law could have also been used to prosecute nature shows, TV shows like Whale Wars, and even undercover PETA videos---videos designed to gain support for animal rights.


In 2005, Robert J. Stevens was arrested for marketing videos of pit bulls attacking other animals and each other. Stevens claimed he was exempt from prosecution as he was merely a journalist documenting these cruelties.


Such acts of animal cruelty like dog fighting and crushing are illegal in this country. However, the Supreme Court sees no reasons why videos of these acts shouldn't receive first amendment protections. This is similar to the debate surrounding pornography. Having sex for money is illegal in most states. However, the filming of sexual interactions fueled by money is not illegal.


What do you think? How should law makers distinguish between videos designed to exploit animal cruelty and those meant to expose it?


Read more at The Washington Post


Follow Alfie on Twitter or Facebook

With an 8 to 1 vote, the Supreme Court nullified a 1999 federal law designed to outlaw videos featuring animal cruelty, particularly crush videos. Crush fetish videos show small animals like rabbits, mice, puppies, or kittens, being slowly stomped or impaled to death by stiletto heels or bare feet.

The Supreme Court didn't find a compelling reason to exempt animal cruelty videos from first amendment protections as it did with child pornography. The court ruled that child pornography necessarily involves the abuse of children in the production of the videos. So why did the court not see how those who film and market videos of animal cruelty play a direct role in the abuse of the animals?

The problem may be that

Scroll to read more Events & Film articles
Join the Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.

Newsletters

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected]