Today is the second day of the Supreme Court’s new term. And for the first time in a quarter century, justices may declare an entire category of speech outside of First Amendment protection. At the center of the case is a law that Congress passed in 1999 making it illegal to distribute videos and other materials depicting animal cruelty, like dogfighting. In 2003, a man named Robert J. Stevens was sent to jail for 37 months for breaking that law. Today the court will decide whether Congress overstepped its authority by passing the law in the first place.
Alan Isaacman, a First Amendment attorney who famously defended Larry Flynt, and Mary Lou Randour, director of human-animal relations with the Humane Society of the U.S., discuss the case.