If dogfighting is illegal in all 50 states, how can videos of it be legal?

The Supreme Court struck down a law that banned the dissemination videos depicting dogfighting, an activity which is illegal in all 50 states. In his argument to overturn the law, Chief Justice John Roberts brought up the First Amendment. But I thought the First Amendment did not apply to criminal behavior, depictions thereof, or incitement thereto. Am I wrong?


7 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    The court reached its decision because the law was too broad. A law is unconstitutional when constitutional activities are illegal under the new law. For example, the law that was just overturned made it illegal to own videos of animals being hurt or killed provided that act was illegal in that jurisdiction. So owning a video of people hunting in the District of Colombia, where hunting is illegal, would have been illegal according to that law.

    Plus, according to the person who made the tapes, he only had certain shots of dog fights, ones that were not gruesome, as part of an educational video about pit bulls. However, that's not the real issue.

  • WRG
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    The act of dog fighting is illegal. The speech about dog fighting isn't. There was nothing in the decision that would stop the police from using the videos as evidence against someone for breaking the law.

    And the first amendment protect just about all speech. I could quite legally write a book about how to make a nuclear bomb.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    The videos could be used to prosecute the people BUT that doesn't make the videos illegal. I'm not licensed to go in to an MMA fight or boxing match, but I can still watch it. See how the law works? Just because it is a criminal offense to do something doesn't automatically make it illegal for you to see it.

  • 5 years ago

    The birds have the ability to get away, whereas the dogs are locked into pins and fought until they are dead. Also the torture and whatnot that takes place before the dogs are put together to fight is more inhumane than shooting a bird. A dog may be tortured as long as a year before it reaches the "desired" level of aggression that dog fighters look for. At least the bird will die quickly if shot, whereas the dogs can take days if not weeks to die and are most times thrown in the trash to do so.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Yes, you are wrong.

    This is a matter of free speech - pretty clear-cut case, too. The Court made the right decision.

    Source(s): lawyer, dog mom
  • 1 decade ago

    It's illegal to lead the police on high speed chases, too...but you see videos of that on TV all the time.

  • 1 decade ago

    Dogfighting isn't illegal. If dogfighting was illegal, then hunting animals would be illegal too.

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