Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Free Speech vs. Animal Cruelty

The Supreme Court today voted 8-1 to overturn a previous ban on animal cruelty videos because it unconstitutionally restricts free speech.

I'm not sure what to think about this.  On one hand, I deeply respect the freedom of speech.  On the other hand, I think that anything that supports animal cruelty should be stopped, including videos of dog fighting, cockfighting, etc. 

Video depictions of cockfighting and dog fighting, encourage more of the same because if the videos sell well, then it is another source of revenue for dog fighting organizers.  Much like child pornography, the more of it that is consumed, the more individuals are exploited.  I would roll Bumfights  into the same category.  Similar to bumfights, when a particular dog becomes well known, or a successful fighter, that may create a stronger demand for videos of the dog. 

But on the other hand, I'm also weary about carving out swathes of untouchable areas of the world that we do not have freedom of speech over.  But, like child pornography, I think there are areas in the world that demand just that. 

I like what Justice Alito says in the dissenting opinion, "The Court strikes down in its entirety a valuable statue, that was enacted not to suppress speech, but to prevent horrific acts of animal cruelty."

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