Is It a Violation of the First Amendment to Ban Videos of Animal Torture?
That's what the Supreme Court will be sorting out today. They will be picking up a nasty dog-fighting-video case from a while ago in which the two...
That's what the Supreme Court will be sorting out today. They will be picking up a nasty dog-fighting-video case from a while ago in which the two sides are pretty self-explanatory. On the one hand you have the freedom-of-speech argument, which says that we can't be willy-nilly about our amendments to that basic right. Yes, in the '80s we added a rule forbidding kiddie porn, but that was kiddie porn. Do we really want to treat videos of animal torture on that same level? And what happens when animal-rights activists try to argue that, say, slaughterhouses are conducting torture? It could easily turn into a free for all.On the other side we have the possibility of animals being tortured and killed on tape, and then people making money off of it by selling them across state lines, despite the fact that all states already have laws in place protecting animals from the kinds of torture.My kneejerk take on this one is of the arrest-the-kingpin-not-the-dealer variety. Meaning, we should spend more time and money cracking down on the people who actually mutilate little animals, or traffic in animals who are bred for blood sport, not the people making the sales of videos of said mutilation.It's a tricky argument both ways. What do you think?