Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Samuel Alito is the Champion of Small Game.

c. David Grim (taken 8/3/09)

Today the Supreme Court voted 8-1 to strike down a Congressional prohibition against filming, distributing, or selling depictions of animal cruelty. I had to think a bit about this before it made any kind of sense. It's certainly not often that this current batch of justices finds anything like a near-consensus. I found it especially odd that this was an issue that sparked agreement.

I'm not a PETA member. Nor am I a vegan. I think animals have as much soul (generally-speaking) as the average human being. Cats have more soul than most people. But I'm not a fanatic animal rights activist. Having said that, it makes sense to discourage animal torture. So why allow it on video and for purchase?

It turns out that those eight esteemed arbiters consider the legislation that they ruled upon to be too broad. Apparently, hunting DVDs could be against the law in DC under the current rule. Still, I don't think that anyone has landed in the hoosegow for peddling that tripe. Reportedly, the first guy prosecuted and imprisoned under the just-invalidated law was a guy that put together clips of dog fights from around the world. He was sentenced to three years. I have no sympathy for him.

Finally I found it somehow peculiar that Samuel Alito was the lone dissenting voice. I thought he only stepped into that position at State of the Union Addresses.

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