On Wednesday, the U.S. House passed a measure that would again make it a federal crime to sell “crush videos” depicting animal cruelty – three months after the Supreme Court struck down an earlier version as overly broad.
Crush videos appeal to a sexual fetish by showing women crushing to death small animals with their bare feet or wearing high heels.
The high court in April overturned the conviction of a Virginia man prosecuted under the 1999 law for selling dog-fighting videos. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said the law was too broad and could allow prosecutions for selling hunting videos.
This bill is narrowly drafted to prohibit the sale or distribution of only obscene visual depictions of animal cruelty, according to a House Judiciary Committee report.
The Prevention of Interstate Commerce in Animal Crush Videos Act excludes the sale or distribution of depictions of hunting, trapping, fishing or “customary and normal veterinary or agricultural husbandry practices.”
A pair of Georgia congressmen – Paul Broun of Athens and Tom Graves of Ranger – provided two of three votes against the measure. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas was the third.
We haven’t heard from Broun or Graves on the issue, but given the philosophies of all three, we’ll assume they would argue that the federal government has no business getting involved. The American Civil Liberties Union also opposed the measure.
All other Georgia members, Democrat and Republican, voted in favor.
On Tuesday, Graves was sentenced to yet another round of campaigning to secure his 9th District seat, receiving 49.5 percent of the vote – according to uncertified returns. Republican rival Lee Hawkins of Gainesville still has a thin thread of hope.
Broun will face Democrat Russell Edwards of Athens in November.
We suggest a new campaign slogan to both insurgents: “For the kittens.”