Last October, I told you that the Supreme Court was about to hear a case that would decide whether or not you get to watch your favorite hunting videos and TV shows (see previous coverage). Well, it’s decided. And you can go ahead and watch.
Yesterday, the Supreme court struck down the Dipictions of Animal Cruelty Act. Although specifically targeted at so-called “crush videos” (in which women in high heels crush small animals to death for the sexual titillation of viewers), the law’s language is extremely broad, prohibiting any trafficking in materials that depicts living animals being “intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed”–which would technically include hunting videos and shows.
That language is too broad, says the court.
From The New York Times:
Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the majority in the 8-to-1 decision, said that the law had created “a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth” and that the government’s aggressive defense of the law was “startling and dangerous.”
The decision left open the possibility that Congress could enact a narrower law that would pass constitutional muster. But the existing law, Chief Justice Roberts wrote, covered too much speech protected by the First Amendment.