In an effort to quash the production of “crush” videos, Congress banned the knowing creation, sale, or possession of depictions of cruelty to animals with the intention of placing the depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain in 1999.

When Robert J. Stevens was convicted under 18 USC § 48 for selling videos depicting dog fights, however, he protested that the law was unconstitutional under the First Amendment, appealing his case to the Supreme Court.

Why did the Supreme Court decide to overturn Stevens’ conviction? Prof. David Forte of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law examines free speech, overbreadth and the separation of powers in United States v. Stevens.


  • Prof. David Forte, Professor of Law at Cleveland State University

 Learn more about Prof. David Forte: 


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