HSUS Loses Big “Animal Abuse” Supreme Court

Facts: U.S. v Stevens involved legislation drafted and pushed by HSUS to criminalize “crush” video type films. HOWEVER HSUS pushed the government to use the law against a teacher who was offering a historical review on film, of dogfighting history, including foreign countries.

Mr. Stevens appealed the “conviction” and the Appeals Court sided with Mr. Stevens, finding the HSUS law illegal. HSUS then appealed to the United States Supreme Court and the high court found the law unconstitutional, and did not mince words. HSUS just sealed their own fate by pushing the law to the highest court in the land. Contrary to animal rights, the law was NOT a case where the government was saying animal abuse depictions were completely legal or not legal. The facts of the case indicate the DRAFTING of the FLAWED statute was illegal and unconstitutional. Many people do not understand the case but if you read it eventually you will understand it.

Appeals Court Reversal:       usvstevens  [PDF to the case from 2008, reversing conviction;  Supreme court subsequently took the case and threw out HSUS statute as UNCONSTITUTIONAL ]



Professor Volokh believed the law may be overturned and read what many commenters have said; the law as applied would create considerable problems for other mainstream movies out there, perhaps even Bambi………..

HSUS kept trying to show that animal “cruelty depictions”  as  written in this particular law, is in the same league as child porn. ( HSUS wants that obviously because HSUS believes animals are people.)  HSUS LOST THIS MAJOR, MAJOR CASE.

 If this law was used to go after any depictions where the so-called offense is legal, but then the video was viewed where the action could be illegal, it opens up a can of worms for prosecuting crimes that were not crimes when the acts were done, and vice versa.  HSUS lost this huge, precedential case. A huge win against HSUS bad laws.

  1. www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary…

    Established in 1954, The HSUS seeks a humane and sustainable world for all animals What Other Information Do We Present on the Charities We Evaluate? 

  2. BREAKING: Charity Navigator Downgrades HSUS Ratings 


    Apr 1, 2010 – Today Charity Navigator downgraded HSUS’s rating from “four stars” to just three.  While Charity Navigator shows that HSUS spent 13 cents to raise ….You would do a lot more just giving a shelter dog a bed or a blanket. 

  3. They Got a “D” (Again) | HumaneWatch


    Dec 9, 2010 – In April, the respected Charity Navigator service downgraded HSUS to changed HSUS’s overall “CharityWatch” grade from “C-minus” to “D.” 

  4. Charity Navigator downgrades HSUS‘ ranking

    Apr 16, 2010 – On Thursday Charity Navigator slashed the rankings for HSUS and the given HSUS D and C- grades for its wasteful financial practices. 

  5. Humane Society of the United States – Wikipedia, the free 


    Canada’s seal hunt regulations do not permit the hunting of “whitecoat” seals less than two weeks old, and but do …. For four years, HSUS received the top four-star rating fromCharity Navigator, but in 2010 was downgraded to three stars. 

  6. HSUSCharity Rankings Downgraded | Outdoor Life


    May 26, 2010 – But I digress, this blog post is about HSUS and their downgraded rating by Charity Navigator. The charity watchdog/research group recently 

  7. HSUS Rating Downgraded by Charity Navigator – Pet Talk

    petoftheday.com › Pet Talk › Dog › Dog General
    3 posts – 3 authors – Last post: Apr 13, 2010

    HSUS Rating Downgraded by Charity Navigator Dog General.  And never underestimate the good that you can do by contributing time, 

  8. Charity Watchdog Groups… – AgTexas: Your Lender for Farm, Ranch 

    Charity Watchdog Groups Downgrade Ratings for Humane Society of U.S.  On Thursday Charity Navigator slashed the rankings for HSUS and the Humane 

  9. HSUS Downgraded – by Bowsite.com Bowhunting – Printable


    Apr 14, 2010 – Watchdog Group: Charity Navigator Downgrades Humane Society of helping those pathetic animals, when in actuality HSUS doesn’t do a 

  10. Viewing a thread – HSUS gets downgraded statis as a charity

    4 posts – 4 authors – Last post: Apr 12, 2010

    Charity Navigator’s downgrading of the Humane Society of the  a lot of money out of the unknowing, and really hurt those who do know. ..

2 thoughts on “HSUS Loses Big “Animal Abuse” Supreme Court

  1. TITLE 18, U.S.C. §48 is constitutionally invalid in toto.

    Unbiased truth is a compelling societal interest. In 2008, the Humane Society of the United States used graphic and exploitative depictions of dog fighting as part of a fraudulent internet fundraising scam, ending abruptly with an FBI investigation. Under §48, tax exempt political organizations such as the HSUS could effectively silence any opposing viewpoint and continue to create deceptive fundraising propaganda. The HSUS owns numerous for profit subsidiaries, thus generating “commercial gain” from the sale of “Unleashed” and “Off the Chain”, as well as other video and print media which depicts animal cruelty far more graphic than that of the Respondent. Animal rights groups on the FBI domestic terrorist watch list such as People for the “ethical” Treatment of Animals (PeTA) have used digital software to manufacture realistic depictions of animal cruelty. Non profit extremists believe that their (pernicious) activities always have “serious” value, yet are exempt from the provisions of §48.

    Unlike neglect (failure to provide that which is necessary), defining animal “cruelty” can be far more subjective than it might seem. Defining “cruelty” by the animal rights movement’s own terms is offensively over broad and encompasses activities that benefit virtually all law abiding citizens in some manner, such as food and clothing production, pet ownership, zoos and marine parks, or biomedical research which includes vaccine production.

    Correlation is not causation. §48 has no provable influence on criminal potential. Speculation has no place in suppressing the freedoms that our great nation was founded upon. We already have strong laws addressing animal “cruelty”. Human cruelty and violence created purely for commercial gain proliferates in films and video games. History must be accurately documented and publicly available, even when unpopular speech or depiction might make society uncomfortable. All history is relevant, even the alleged “prurient interests” of the “depraved” cock fighters who framed our Constitution. The seriousness of something’s value should not be dismissed nor defined solely by those who wish to monopolize it for their own financial benefit. “Serious” renders §48 void for vagueness and the failure of §48 to include non commercial financial gain violates the 14th Amendment.

    Clearly evident by the phrasing of their arguments, supporters of this statute intend to devaluate the legal status of humans by elevating the legal status of all animals to that of America’s children. “The life of an ant and that of my child should be granted equal consideration.” – Michael W. Fox, former Vice President, HSUS

    Censoring the unfettered exchange of ideas is an affront to deeply rooted American values. Tragically, the language of §48 does not specifically target “crush videos” nor was its semantic construction ever really intended to… §48 mocks its legislative history to the extent that it constitutes a fraud of crisis marketing, perpetrated upon on Congress. The Respondents’ documentaries were never ever intended “to seek a sexual response” and do not constitute a grave threat to human beings, nor were they disseminated to unwilling recipients.

    The commerce of art currently on display in the AKC Museum of the Dog or books by respected authors such as James Thurber and Mark Twain should not become subjectively criminal. Extremist “animal fighting” rhetoric has already created a reverse onus, destroying the livelihood and reputations of innocent Americans such as Mahlon Patrick and Floyd Boudreaux. While our compassionate stewardship of animals is imperative, we do not need the vague and over broad language of §48 to undermine the 1st Amendment or violate the 14th Amendment.

  2. Tragically is correct. The CA legislature has been put on notice. Not just once, but repeatedly, in person. We hope it sinks in this month (August) …thanks for the comments.

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