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Supreme Court Case Could Strike Down Use of Graphic Animal Cruelty Photos for Commercial Gain

From U.S. Sportsmen’s Alliance

--The anti-hunters may not be able to use graphic photos and video to sensationalize cases of alleged animal cruelty if a court ruling stands. The U.S. Supreme Court will decide a case that strikes down the use of graphic animal cruelty photos for commercial gain.  

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) is leading the charge to restore a 1999 law that has since been struck down by a federal court of appeals as unconstitutional. The U.S. Supreme Court is now hearing a further appeal.

The law criminalized the creation, sale, or possession of videos and photographs that depict animal cruelty for commercial gain. The impetus for the legislation was gruesome dog fighting and disturbing animal “crush” videos in which animals were tortured to death in a way meant to titillate certain viewers. While both actions depicted are deplorable and illegal in all fifty states, the legislation raised serious constitutional issues about how the government determines the value of what constitutes free speech. 

Ironically, as the Center for Consumer Freedom makes clear, both HSUS and PETA often use videos showcasing animal cruelty as a way of shocking donors into raising more funds. Should the U.S. Supreme Court find that the law is constitutional, numerous questions regarding the anti’s own propaganda videos would immediately be raised.

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