Wanna see my Cock Fight? Not under 18 U.S.C. § 48 you Don’t!

Well, now they’ve gone and done it. Someone finally filed a lawsuit to have 18 U.S.C. § 48 declared unconstitutional. (Previous post here).

The law reads as follows

§ 48. Depiction of animal cruelty

(a) Creation, Sale, or Possession.— Whoever knowingly creates, sells, or possesses a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5 years, or both.

(b) Exception.— Subsection (a) does not apply to any depiction that has serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.

(c) Definitions.— In this section—

(1) the term “depiction of animal cruelty” means any visual or auditory depiction, including any photograph, motion-picture film, video recording, electronic image, or sound recording of conduct in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed, if such conduct is illegal under Federal law or the law of the State in which the creation, sale, or possession takes place, regardless of whether the maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding, or killing took place in the State; and

(2) the term “State” means each of the several States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession of the United States.

The problem? The statute apparently was passed in a rush to combat — you guessed it — porn. Even I haven’t heard of this stuff they call “crush videos” where a high heel wearing woman would step on a mouse, and someone somewhere would get off on it. Someone check snopes.com for me please, because I think Congress was the victim of an urban legend.

The real problem? The statute is more unconstitutional than a presidential signing statement.

The good news? Perhaps since the depictions involve just killing defenseless animals and not something disgusting and vile like consenting adults having sex, whichever judge draws this case just might find it in their heart to issue a ruling that doesn’t sodomize the First Amendment — to the extent that it still exists.

One Response to Wanna see my Cock Fight? Not under 18 U.S.C. § 48 you Don’t!

  1. Martza Majstoravich says:

    I’m not going to lie. I went here when I saw “cock.”

    Thanks for bringing this to my attention. I was going to take “before” and “after” pictures of my dog before I shaved him to post on my site; but after reading 18 usc 48, I don’t want to risk it. That’s the last thing I want to add as an amendment to my Florida Bar application.

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