Back in 1999, as a Member of Congress, I cast one of 42 votes against a proposed federal law that would ban the depiction of animal cruelty. The bill passed overwhelmingly, and was signed into law by then-President Clinton. I voted against the measure not because I endorsed or favored the activity proposed to be federally banned — so-called “crush videos” of animals being killed, generally by women’s feet in high heels. I had never heard that such a disgusting and ridiculous fetish even existed, before the measure was presented to us in the House that year. I voted against it — as I suspect did all other 41 “nay” votes — because there was simply no need or constitutional basis for a federal law criminalizing such behavior. Animal cruelty laws in every state already addressed the problem.
This past April, more than a decade after the 1999 law went into effect, the Supreme Court struck it down, as being impermissibly vague and overly broad; and specifically