U.S. v. Stevens Finally Decided

Posted in Case Reports by Mike Sacks on April 20, 2010

The Court has held by an 8-1 vote that a federal law criminalizing depictions of animal cruelty is “substantially overbroad,” therefore violating the First Amendment.  The opinion was written by Chief Justice Roberts; Alito dissented.

That’s the second Congressional law that the Court has struck down this term on First Amendment grounds.  The first was Citizens United.  This one, however, will be far less controversial.  In fact, this case pitted liberal value vs. liberal value: anti-restrictions on violent or obscene speech vs. animal rights protections.

This term’s big conservative value vs. conservative value case, Stop the Beach Renourishment, Inc. v. Florida Department of Environmental Protection, which pits federalism concerns against property rights, remains to be decided.

Fun, gloating fact: I attended both Stevens and Citizens United before I started F1@1F!

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