The U.S. Supreme Court on April 20 struck down the "Crush Act," a 1999 federal law banning the creation, sale, and possession of materials depicting graphic violence against animals.
In the 8-1 majority opinion written by Chief Justice John Roberts, the court attributed its decision to the fact that the law violated the constitutional right to free speech and was overly broad. The law was aimed at banning the sale and distribution of "crush" videos, which show animals being stomped to death.
Roberts said the law was so broad it could include all depictions of killing animals, including hunting videos.
Animal protection groups criticized the court ruling but were encouraged that the justices left open the door for Congress to pass more-narrow legislation banning crush and animal fighting videos.