"Dogfighting Case Gets Its Day In Court"

"The Supreme Court hears a major free speech case on Tuesday that asks whether the government can make it a crime to sell or possess any depiction of animal cruelty.

The case is about dogfighting videos, but critics argue that it could apply to anything from photos in Field and Stream magazine or hunting videos, to Arnold Schwarzenegger punching a camel in Conan the Barbarian.

In 1999, Congress passed a law aimed initially at "crush videos." These are videos of women typically in high heels crushing small animals, like mice and kittens -- apparently a sexual fetish.

The law, however, has broad language. It makes it a crime to possess or sell any depiction of animal cruelty -- specifically the killing, wounding, torturing or mutilation of an animal -- as long as the conduct is illegal in the place where the prosecution is brought."

Nina Totenberg reports for NPR's Morning Edition October 6, 2009.

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009