Supreme Court Ruling Protects Sale Of Animal Abuse Recordings As Free Speech
Today the Supreme Court ruled that free speech now includes the right to sell depictions of animal torture and killing. The Court, in an 8-1 decision, held that the law designed to stop sales and profits from “crush” and dog-fight videos was too broad and construed its application as censorship.
Chief Justice John Roberts opined that while animal cruelty is prohibited, there is no such tradition applied to depictions of that cruelty. Unlike depictions of child pornography, apparently other crimes like animal abuse aren’t subject to the same legal distinction and protection. Justice Samuel Alito, in his sole dissent, suggested that the law was constitutional with regard to the animal cruelty categories stated above.
There is a serious disconnect in a legal system that criminalizes an act but protects the right to record and sell the act. Abuse is wrong regardless of its target. Profiting from abuse and hiding behind the skirt of the First Amendment is equally wrong. Lawmakers need to revisit this situation and redraft this legislation to stop this despicable violation of human decency.
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“I could not have slept tonight if I had left that helpless little creature to perish on the ground.” (Reply to friends who chided him for delaying them by stopping to return a fledgling to its nest.) – Abraham Lincoln, Sixteenth President of the United States
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