Dogfighting Videos: Obscenity or Free Speech?

"The law at issue doesn't cover anything that has any journalistic, educational, artistic or social value," says the groups' lawyer, Jonathan Lovvorn. "When you strip away all the hysteria and rhetoric, this is a narrow law that only applies to those trafficking obscene materials over state lines."

Lovvorn says that even though Stevens claims he is against dogfighting, his efforts to depict images of it and sell them across county lines contribute to animal cruelty.

"If you dry up the interstate market for this material, it will reduce the underlying criminal activity," Lovvorn says.

The justices will have to tread carefully, as they did in 1982, if they are going to try to develop a standard.

Lawyers for Stevens ask how the court can draw the line on other so-called "depictions of animal cruelty" in films such as Errol Flynn's "The Charge of the Light Brigade," where filmmakers used wires to trip over 100 horses, causing some deaths.

The case could be decided as early as this winter.

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