I though you might find this story important. It is not legislation, but it is about animal welfare --
JUSTICES TO REVIEW WHETHER VIDEOS OF ANIMAL CRUELTY PROTECTED SPEECH
The New York Times reports that the U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to review the appeal of Robert Stevens, a Virginia man challenging his conviction for selling dog-fighting videos on First Amendment grounds. Stevens was sentenced to 37 months in prison under a 1999 federal law that criminalizes the creation or sale of depictions of cruelty to animals; although all 50 states ban animal cruelty itself, only the federal law targets depictions of it. Stevens’ lawyers argued that “there is no claim that the defendant was himself involved in acts of animal cruelty or was even present at their commission,” and that many of the acts in the videos were lawful in the jurisdictions where they were documented. In an amici brief urging the Court to take up the case, animal protection group the Humane Society argued that “gruesome depictions of animal mutilation” as targeted by the federal law should join the limited categories of speech that are beyond the protections of the First Amendment, such as obscenity, child pornography, and fighting words. Last summer the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Stevens’ conviction, holding that animals aren’t affected by videos showing cruelty in the same way that minors suffer continuing harm by having images of child pornography in the marketplace.
For full story, see: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/21/us/21scotus.html?_r=1&ref=us
Fox News: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517156,00.html
Columbus Dispatch: http://www.dispatchpolitics.com/live/content/national_world/stories/2009/04/21/copy/scotus_animals_ap_0421.ART_ART_04-21-09_A5_BDDKAAE.html?adsec=politics&sid=101
Washington Times: http://washingtontimes.com/news/2009/apr/21/animal-cruelty-case-advances/