Sunday, May 16, 2010
"In a defense of free speech by both liberal and conservative justices, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law banning depictions of animal cruelty, dismissing claims that gruesome animal films had no constitutional protection. ... 'As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage,' [John Roberts] wrote, the government's argument is startling and dangerous.' ... But in this case, the court saw clear evidence of overreaching legislation that broadly banned an entire category of speech. ... The case sparked wide interest, with animal-rights groups and more than half the states filing friend-of-the-court briefs backing the law. Publishers, civil liberties groups and hunting organizations took the other side. ... Lawmakers reasoned that by making illegal the creation, sale or possession of such videos, they could remove the financial incentive to make them. ... Chief Justice Roberts, however, wrote that child pornography was a 'special case' and that other forms of speech could not be banned based on 'a simple cost-benefit analysis.' ... 'Our Constitution forecloses any attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that some speech is not worth it.' ... In his dissent, Justice Alito wrote that like child pornography, crush videos were inextricable from the underlying crimes,, and banning the depiction was a way to prevent the abuse", Jess Bravin at the WSJ, 21 April 2010, link:
I don't know what a "simple cost-benefit analysis" is. The "analyst" can load it any way he wants. Alito said he doesn't like crush videos. So? What's Alito's theory? Is a crush video viewer an aider-abettor, co-consipirator, accessory after the fact? This decision should have been 9-0. Haven't the states anything better to do with their police and courts than worry about crush videos? We have too many cops and district attorneys.