Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Florida Urges Supreme Court to Find Animal Cruelty Not Protected by First Amendment

The State of Florida filed a brief in the United States Supreme Court arguing as follows:

"This Court should reverse the Third Circuit Court of Appeals and hold that 18 U.S.C. § 48 is facially constitutional. States have a compelling interest in § 48 because it vitally assists efforts to deter and enforce their own animal cruelty laws by keeping perpetrators (and downstream distributors) from advertising, selling, and profiting from depictions of their vile crimes in any market...In sum, animal cruelty is a serious menace that demands tools like § 48 to assist state enforcement efforts. Also, the adage that crime should not pay has special importance in this context. The amici states urge this Court to reverse the Third Circuit and to recognize a compelling state interest in § 48. The states’ limited purpose in filing this brief is to show how 18 U.S.C. § 48 critically assists in the enforcement of the states’ longstanding animal cruelty laws. The Third Circuit erred by finding that no compelling governmental interest underlies the law. The amici states view the law as vital in support of their efforts to stamp out acts of animal cruelty that inflict much harm in their communities nationwide."

The brief can be found here.


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