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View Full Version : Free speech now, Tomorrow right to bear arms!!!


silaic7
04-20-2010, 11:17 AM
IF SCOTUS can protect my free speech, hopefully they will protect my right to bear arms too.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_supreme_court_pit_bull_videos

Court voids law aimed at animal cruelty videos

WASHINGTON – The Supreme Court struck down a federal law Tuesday aimed at banning videos that show graphic violence against animals, saying it violates the right to free speech.

The justices, voting 8-1, threw out the criminal conviction of Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., who was sentenced to three years in prison for videos he made about pit bull fights.

The law was enacted in 1999 to limit Internet sales of so-called crush videos, which appeal to a certain sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or high-heeled shoes.

The videos virtually disappeared once the measure became law, the government argued.

But Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the majority, said the law goes too far, suggesting that a measure limited to crush videos might be valid. Animal cruelty and dog fighting already are illegal throughout the country.

The Humane Society of the United States said it would press Congress to adopt a "narrower ban on the sale of videos showing malicious acts of cruelty."

In dissent, Justice Samuel Alito said the harm animals suffer in dogfights is enough to sustain the law.

Alito said the ruling probably will spur new crush videos because it has "the practical effect of legalizing the sale of such videos."

Animal rights groups, including the Humane Society of the United States and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and 26 states joined the Obama administration in support of the law. The government sought a ruling that treated videos showing animal cruelty like child pornography, not entitled to constitutional protection.

But Roberts said the law could be read to allow the prosecution of the producers of films about hunting. And he scoffed at the administration's assurances that it would only apply the law to depictions of extreme cruelty. "But the First Amendment protects against the government," Roberts said. "We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the government promised to use it responsibly."

Stevens ran a business and website that sold videos of pit bull fights. He is among a handful of people prosecuted under the animal cruelty law. He noted in court papers that his sentence was 14 months longer than professional football player Michael Vick's prison term for running a dogfighting ring.

A federal judge rejected Stevens' First Amendment claims, but the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled in his favor.

The administration persuaded the high court to intervene, but for the second time this year, the justices struck down a federal law on free speech grounds. In January, the court invalidated parts of a 63-year-old law aimed at limiting corporate and union involvement in political campaigns.

Free speech advocates cheered Tuesday's ruling.

"Speech is protected whether it's popular or unpopular, harmful or unharmful," said David Horowitz, executive director of the Media Coalition. The group submitted a brief siding with Stevens on behalf of booksellers, documentary film makers, theater owners, writers' groups and others.

The case is U.S. v. Stevens, 08-769.

MP301
04-20-2010, 11:21 AM
Im not sure how we should feel about videos involving animals.....

<object width="640" height="385"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/DMVWREHya3g&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/DMVWREHya3g&color1=0xb1b1b1&color2=0xcfcfcf&hl=en_US&feature=player_embedded&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" width="640" height="385"></embed></object>



http://www.upitall.com/Private/u/131/188/5272

Robidouxs
04-20-2010, 1:33 PM
I could potentially see how this case is applicable to the open carry movement. One could argue that open carry is an expression of free speech on the grounds of the First Amendment, thus nullifying AB1934 since it would be infringing on the First Amendment.

a1c
04-20-2010, 1:36 PM
I could potentially see how this case is applicable to the open carry movement. One could argue that open carry is an expression of free speech on the grounds of the First Amendment, thus nullifying AB1934 since it would be infringing on the First Amendment.

Good luck with that. Be ready then to hear that since it's just about free speech, there is no need for you to carry ammo as well.

navyinrwanda
04-20-2010, 9:02 PM
There's a lot in the Court's opinion in United States v. Stevens, (08-769) (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-769.pdf) that bodes well for McDonald (http://scotuswiki.com/index.php?title=McDonald_v._City_of_Chicago). For example, think what these passages would mean if “First Amendment” were replaced with “Second Amendment,” and descriptions of citizens owning and carrying guns replaced references to suspect speech:


The Government thus proposes that a claim of categorical exclusion should be considered under a simple balancing test: “Whether a given category of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech against its societal costs.” Brief for United States 8; see also id., at 12.

As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage, that sentence is startling and dangerous. The First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and benefits. The First Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it. The Constitution is not a document “prescribing limits, and declaring that those limits may be passed at pleasure.” Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch 137, 178 (1803).


Not to worry, the Government says: The Executive Branch construes §48 to reach only “extreme” cruelty, Brief for United States 8, and it “neither has brought nor will bring a prosecution for anything less,” Reply Brief 6–7. The Government hits this theme hard, invoking its prosecutorial discretion several times. See id., at 6–7, 10, and n. 6, 19, 22. But the First Amendment protects against the Government; it does not leave us at the mercy of noblesse oblige. We would not uphold an unconstitutional statute merely because the Government promised to use it responsibly. Cf. Whitman v. American Trucking Assns., Inc., 531 U. S. 457, 473 (2001).

(And) this prosecution is itself evidence of the danger in putting faith in government representations of prosecutorial restraint...


This may all sound like dense legalese to many, but calling the Government's position “startling and dangerous” is strong stuff, as is reminding everyone that the U.S. is a constitutional republic and not an elective aristocracy. Predicting how the Court will rule is guesswork at best, but this opinion, coupled with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf) leads me to believe that at least five justices are finally growing some constitutional couilles.

PEBKAC
04-20-2010, 9:16 PM
I'm rather liking this court...:D

I especially love the scoffing at the promises of the Government to "use the law responsibly"...HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah I trust them all right...:rolleyes:

Good on them. Bodes very well for McDonald.

This is going to be an interesting Summer. :)

KylaGWolf
04-20-2010, 9:22 PM
Anyone else get the feeling that maybe Obama really ticked off the SCOTUS at the State of the Union and they may just thumb their noses at him every chance they get.

Legasat
04-20-2010, 10:27 PM
Anyone else get the feeling that maybe Obama really ticked off the SCOTUS at the State of the Union and they may just thumb their noses at him every chance they get.

We can only hope...:p

obeygiant
04-20-2010, 11:07 PM
http://www.upitall.com/Private/u/131/188/5272

is that Sarah Jessica Parker? :43:

Mulay El Raisuli
04-21-2010, 6:10 AM
Anyone else get the feeling that maybe Obama really ticked off the SCOTUS at the State of the Union and they may just thumb their noses at him every chance they get.


No, they won't. UNLIKE Obama, the Justices are professionals. They know their job & they do it as they believe the Const. requires of them. That doesn't mean that I agree with everything concluded. Nor do I always agree with the reasoning employed. But I'm sure that spite plays no part in how they do their jobs.

All that said, yeah, it is going to be an interesting summer.


The Raisuli

PatriotnMore
04-21-2010, 6:28 AM
That was not a smart move by the POTUS. I am sure they take his objections with a grain of salt, after all, any POTUS in office, is a short term guest, where a SCOTUS appointment is for life.

The saying of, "Let Sleeping Bears Lay" comes to mind.

Anyone else get the feeling that maybe Obama really ticked off the SCOTUS at the State of the Union and they may just thumb their noses at him every chance they get.

snobord99
04-21-2010, 8:40 AM
Anyone else get the feeling that maybe Obama really ticked off the SCOTUS at the State of the Union and they may just thumb their noses at him every chance they get.

Maybe I missed it...but what does Obama have to do with this case? From what I can tell, the law was enacted while Clinton was in office and the guy was prosecuted under Bush...where does Obama come in?

snobord99
04-21-2010, 8:45 AM
Predicting how the Court will rule is guesswork at best, but this opinion, coupled with Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, 558 U.S. ___ (2010), (http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-205.pdf) leads me to believe that at least five justices are finally growing some constitutional couilles.

You realize that the one justice dissenting here was Alito right? The guy that mouthed "not true" when Obama made his comments regarding Citizens United during the State of the Union. In other words, the one dissenting justice here was one of the 5 you speak of.

FortCourageArmory
04-21-2010, 9:12 AM
Maybe I missed it...but what does Obama have to do with this case? From what I can tell, the law was enacted while Clinton was in office and the guy was prosecuted under Bush...where does Obama come in?
In his State Of The Union speech, Obama sharply criticized the Supreme Court's tossing of campaign finance reform laws on 1A grounds. He did it loudly, and on a national scale while the justices sat in the front row of the audience. Do you think a SCOTUS justice likes to be scolded like a first-year law student? It was a low blow and a cheap shot.

Big Jake
04-21-2010, 10:06 AM
is that Sarah Jessica Parker? :43:

She is a Colts fan. Check out the tat on her left side. LOL!:eek:

N6ATF
04-21-2010, 11:05 AM
Let them sell them... they're good evidence for the actual crime of animal cruelty. Police find them on an unrelated search warrant, they make a copy for SPCA's investigative file, and SPCA can apply for their own search warrants for the violent bastards.

chuckdc
04-21-2010, 12:12 PM
is that Sarah Jessica Parker? :43:

That was my first impression

snobord99
04-21-2010, 6:59 PM
In his State Of The Union speech, Obama sharply criticized the Supreme Court's tossing of campaign finance reform laws on 1A grounds. He did it loudly, and on a national scale while the justices sat in the front row of the audience. Do you think a SCOTUS justice likes to be scolded like a first-year law student? It was a low blow and a cheap shot.

Ok. I saw that happen, but that doesn't answer the question. How does that have anything to do with THIS case? I mean, did Obama say he wanted the law upheld or something?

I'm just trying to figure out how this holding "gets him back" for those comments... :confused: