The First Amendment is tested most strenuously when called upon to protect expression that many people would find indefensible. This occurred in United States v. Stevens when the Supreme Court of the United States refused to categorically remove depictions of animal cruelty from the bulwark of free speech. Further, the Court invalidated section 48 of Title 18 of the United States Code, which prohibited the creation, sale, or possession of depictions of animal cruelty,' as unconstitutionally overbroad. By not allowing speech to be categorically excluded from First Amendment protection because of its inherent lack of value, the Court revealed an increasingly libertarian approach to speech regulation.
Barnwell, J. Matthew
"Taking a Bite Out of Speech Regulation: The Supreme Court Upholds First Amendment Protection for Depictions of Animal Cruelty in United States v. Stevens,"
Mercer Law Review: Vol. 62:
3, Article 13.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.mercer.edu/jour_mlr/vol62/iss3/13