First Amendment topicsAbout the First Amendment
United States v. Stevens (docket #: 08-769) (2009)

Argument Date 10/06/2009
IssueWhether 18 U.S.C. § 48’s ban on knowingly selling depictions of animal cruelty with the intention of placing those depictions in interstate commerce for commercial gain violates the First Amendment.
Certiorari Granted 04/20/2009
Lower Court 3rd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim sustained
For Petitioner
Solicitor General Elena Kagan

For Respondent
Patricia Ann Millett

For Petitioner
Certiorari Petition

Merits Brief for Petitioner, United States of America (SCOTUSblog)

Petitioner's Reply Brief

For Respondent
Brief in Opposition

Reply Brief

For Amicus
Brief amicus curiae of the Humane Society (in support of Petitioner)

Brief for A Group of American Law Professors in Support of Neither Party (SCOTUSblog)

Brief for the Center on the Administration of Criminal Law in Support of Petitioner (SCOTUSblog)

Brief for The Northwest Animal Rights Network in Support of Petitioner (SCOTUSblog)

Brief of 26 States in Support of Petitioner

National Colation Against Censorship & the College Art Association

The Media Coalition

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

Tony Mauro Analysis
Supreme Court to consider ban on depictions of animal cruelty

Opinion - Lower Court
United States v. Stevens (3rd Cir., 2008)

United States v. Stevens (3rd Cir., 2009)

Adam Liptak, "Animal Cruelty Law Tests Free Speech" NYT, Janu1ry 5, 2009

AP, "High court to review law barring sale of animal-cruelty videos" (04/20/09)

"Court to rule on First Amendment exception" (4/20/09, SCOTUSblog)

"United States v. Stevens -- Protecting Animals no Justification for First Amendment Amputation"

Adam Schulman, "Animal-cruelty videos & free speech: some observations from data" (07/09/09)

Eugene Volokh, "Third Circuit Rejects Proposed New Depiction of Animal Cruelty First Amendment Exception"

Federal statute: 18 U.S.C. § 48

Illinois anti-animal cruelty video law: 510 Ill. Comp. Stat §70/3.03-1

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