The National Shooting Sports Foundation applauds the decision by the Supreme Court today that strikes down a federal law against animal cruelty videos because the law was so broadly written that it could have been used to ban videos and television content related to hunting.
No one supports actual animal cruelty, which is already illegal in all 50 states, as the court noted in its 8-1 ruling. The problem with the statute is that it criminalized depictions of hunting, thereby violating the First Amendment right of free speech. No one has more respect for wildlife than hunters, America’s original conservationists.
NSSF helped alert the outdoor media and wildlife conservation community to the potential threat that this case, United States v. Stevens, represented. Two of the largest outdoor media organizations, the Professional Outdoor Media Association and the Outdoor Writers Association of America, objected to the law in friend-of-the-court briefs. NSSF also filed a friend-of-the-court brief.
Patricia Millet, the attorney for Stevens, called NSSF’s brief “fantastic” and credited the briefs that NSSF encouraged to be filed by outdoor media groups and others as being “influential for the court.”
“The NSSF brief made a vital contribution to the court’s decision-making,” said Ms. Millet. “Mr. Stevens and I remain very grateful for the support the NSSF gave to his case.”