The Supreme Court’s decision threw out the conviction of a Virginia man sentenced to three years in prison under the 1999 law for selling dog fighting videos. Robert Stevens of Pittsville, Virginia, appealed his conviction, saying it violated his right of free speech. The U.S Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit inPhiladelphia tossed out Stevens’ conviction and ruled the statute was unconstitutional.
The Department of Justice appealed that decision to the Supreme Court.
The High Court ruled the 1999 law was too broad and could be interpreted to include such activities as hunting. Justices also noted that dog fighting and animal cruelty are illegal nationwide.