Supreme Court Hears Arguments on Animal Cruelty Law

By on October 6, 2009 with 0 Comments By Wayne Pacelle

The HSUS's Wayne Pacelle speaks to press about United States v. Stevens
Speaking with media after today's hearing.

Today, I was one of about 200 people in attendance as the U.S. Supreme Court heard from attorneys for the United States and for dogfighting impresario Robert Stevens in a case testing the constitutionality of the federal Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law. Deputy Solicitor General Neal Katyal, representing the United States, argued passionately and persuasively for a ruling to uphold the law and stop the wanton cruelty spawned through the production of commercially available videos. The HSUS filed an amicus brief in the case, along with 26 state Attorneys General. A host of media organizations, the ACLU, the NRA, and the Safari Club International filed amicus briefs urging that the law be struck down.

I spoke to the press right after argument ended, and then issued the statement below.

"The Depiction of Animal Cruelty Law targets the sale of the most extreme and appalling abuses of animals—and these things only. This commercial conduct has no social or expressive value, and instead leaves a trail of suffering and misery that can be, for the most part, halted through a logical application of the law.

"At Tuesday’s hearing, all Justices acknowledged the critical societal importance of preventing animal cruelty, and allowed that Congress has an important role to play in drying up the market for these sordid products."

Animal Research and Testing

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