Dogs on the Docket

Does the Constitution protect the right to possess or sell videos of dog fighting?
By Lisa Wogan, October 2009

Today, the Supreme Court considers the question: Can the government make it a crime to sell or possess a depiction of animal cruelty? The case stems from the conviction of a man how sold videos depicting dog fighting. This morning, NPR’s Supreme Court maven, Nina Totenberg, provided an excellent preview of the case, which is worth a listen. It’s a tough decision for those of us who are horrified by the cruelty but also recognize the essential importance of the First Amendment. The Bark’s legal columnist Geordie Duckler, JD, weighed in on this complex case in April. Meanwhile, one detail in Totenberg’s story stood out for me. The defendant in Supreme Court case was sentenced to three years for selling videos depicting animal cruelty—twice as long as Vick, who participated in cruel acts.