"Courage is fire, and bullying is smoke."
~ Benjamin Disraeli

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A Pennsylvania Judge last year had the good sense and Constitutional and Legal integrity to find Tammy Grimes guilty of theft despite her AR veil of do-gooderness. Now a panel of Judges finds that Freedom of Speech does still exist to some extent in this country. There is no difference, technically speaking, between Bob Stevens selling these videos and the H$U$ selling them for profit to their AR sycophants. There is no difference between Marty Stouffer selling WIld America videos on AOL and Bob Stevens selling hog hunting videos, other than corporate greed and profit. These ARs will push and push and push the line every chance they get (and have incredibly bloated budgets to do so thanks to sadly misinformed donors who think they are helping to pay for shelters and spay/neuter clinics and other animal WELFARE models, not the AR agenda that is really being funded). I'm very happy to see a few Judges holding the rigthful lines that the Constitution laid forth for all Americans, no matter the self-righteous hysteria of the moment.

July 18, 2008

Videos that show animal cruelty is not illegal, court rules

Los Angeles Times

WASHINGTON ’ In a setback for the animal-rights movement, a U.S. appeals court struck down on free-speech grounds Friday a federal law that made it a crime to sell videos of dogs fighting and other acts of animal cruelty.

All 50 states have laws against the abuse of animals, the appeals court said, but "a depiction of animal cruelty" is protected by the First Amendment.

The ruling overturns a Virginia man's conviction, the nation's first under the law. Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Va., advertised and sold two videos of pit bulls fighting each other and a third showing the pit bulls attacking hogs and wild boars.

He sold the videos to prosecutors in Pittsburgh, was prosecuted, convicted and given three years in prison.

In Friday's decision, the appeals court in Philadelphia, by a 10-3 vote, said it was not prepared to recognize a new category of speech that is unprotected by the First Amendment.
The Justice Department had no reaction Friday to the ruling. Normally, however, the government appeals to the Supreme Court when a federal law is struck down.