Case Study: Dogs Of Velvet And Steel

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Robert J. Stevens operated a business, “Dogs of Velvet and Steel,” that advertised and sold dog-related videos and merchandises that portrayed animal cruelty. During the inquisition, law enforcement officials bought three videos from Stevens. In the first two videotapes, there were footages of pit bulls engaged in dogfighting, and the third videotape showed trained pit bulls attacking wild boar as part of the dog being trained to catch and kill wild pigs. Law enforcements searched Steven’s home and conceived copies of the dog-fighting videos and related commodities in April 2003.
Procedural History
Stevens was indicted under 18 U.S.C. Section 48 in a District Court of Western Pennsylvania for “knowingly selling depictions in interstate
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The Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals agreed with Stevens, which made 18 U.S.C. Section 48 unconstitutional and reversed Steven’s convictions. The court reasoning was that the dog-fighting videos that Stevens sold were protected speech and prohibiting the depictions of animal cruelty would create a new section of speech that is unprotected by the free speech provision of the Amendment under the law that was in question. In 2009 of April, the Supreme Court granted certiorari. The Supreme Court task was to conclude if prohibiting videos showing animal cruelty breaches the First Amendment.
Under the First Amendment, can the government prohibit the portrayals of animal cruelty? If the First Amendment protects the portrayal of animal cruelty, then does Section 48 violates the Defendant’s First Amendment rights? The Court knows that the government usually cannot censor someone’s speech because of its message’s content, but there is also a long-standing consensus against animal cruelty. For this case, the Court must find a counterpoise with these interests, and yet find a deliverance that will decide if the Congress can prohibit certain kinds of speech.
1. First
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