U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties) issued the following statement in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision today on Stevens vs. the United States.
The case involves Robert Stevens, who is appealed his conviction for violating a law Gallegly authored that criminalizes the interstate sale of depictions 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."
The Supreme Court ruled 8-1 today to overturn Stevens' conviction.
"Obviously, I'm disappointed. While I respect the Court's decision, I do not believe justice is served when human beings are allowed to violently abuse animals," Gallegly said.
"Violence is not a First Amendment issue; it is a law enforcement issue. From the beginning I have cited studies that show that the Jeffrey Dahmers of the world--the Albert "Boston Strangler' DeSalvos, Ted Bundys, David "Son of Sam' Berkowitzes and Ted "Unabomber' Kaczynskis--began their killing sprees by cruelly inflicting pain on animals.
"You are not allowed to cry "fire' in a theater; you are not allowed to possess or distribute child pornography. You shouldn't be able to create and distribute videos that glorify the senseless killing of defenseless animals.
"My original bill passed the House in 1999 on a bipartisan vote of 372-42 and in the Senate by unanimous consent. For 10 years, it shut down the crush video industry. Congress will not allow it to resume to pre-1999 levels.
"I am reintroducing a bill I believe is more narrowly tailored to satisfy the Court's majority and will stop the sale of videos that show the mutilation and torture of animals."