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Author Topic: Discussion: Supreme Court: Dogfights v free speech  (Read 5579 times)
sailor_tech
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« Reply #15: April 22, 2009, 08:40:26 pm »

If there are good reasons for something to be illegal, then what 'serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses' are sufficient to override those good reasons?

If there are not good reasons for something to be illegal, then why should 'serious artistic, scientific, or religious uses' be necessary?

To use the child porn example, a "serious scientific" use would be to evaluate sources of the images, methods of finding such images compared to other legal images, cataloging images so that new images of new minors are spotted for intervention.
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« Reply #16: April 23, 2009, 07:07:54 pm »

So what do you think? Is it a good idea to limit this sort of speech? Is it even a free speech issue?

Supreme Court: Dogfights v free speech

The Supreme Court agreed today to take up an unusual free-speech case to decide whether the government can make it a crime to sell or own videos portraying dog fighting or other acts of animal cruelty.

All 50 states have laws against animal cruelty, and a decade ago, Congress made it illegal to sell or possess photos or videos of animals being maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded or killed. The aim was to combat an underground trade in videos that showed dogs fighting or mauling other animals.

The law included exceptions for depictions with serious religious, scientific or artistic value.

http://www.swamppolitics.com/news/politics/blog/2009/04/supreme_court_dogfights_v_free.html

Well, the regulation would be content-based, so it would automatically trigger strict scrutiny as the standard of review.  Under such a standard, the government must prove (1) it has a compelling interest for the regulation; and (2) the regulation is narrowly tailored to those ends.  I think the law will succeed.  The government's interest is certainly compelling (to stop animal cruelty), and the regulation is narrowly tailored to those ends (it leaves open the use of such videos for educational purposes apparently, but criminalizes the sale for entertainment purposes). 

Now do I agree with it?  I think so.  I think dogfighting is so far removed from the purposes of the free speech guarantee that I am not truly troubled by outlawing it's depiction via videotapes. 
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