U.S. Supreme Court overturns law concerning dog fight videos

8-1 decision throws out criminal conviction

The U.S. Supreme Court has thrown out a federal law prohibiting the sale of dog fight videos. In an 8-1 decision, the court ruled that the law put in place in 1999 to curb the sale of so-called crush videos, which show women crushing small animals to death with high heels or bare feet, was too broad in its implications, and could unjustly curtail the sale of hunting videos. Because animal cruelty and dog fighting are already illegal, the justices argued that a law limited to crush videos might be more appropriate. In throwing out the law, the justices overturned the criminal conviction of Robert Stevens, a Virginia man who got three years in prison for making videos of pit bull fights. In his dissent, Justice Samuel Alito, warned that there would likely be an uptick in crush videos if the law was not upheld. The decision marks the second time this year that the high court has thrown out a federal law on free speech grounds.

Associated Press

Looking for more?

Get the best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.