IMPACT
03/18/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Justice Scalia Stands Up For "People Who Like Dogfighting"

Supreme Court justices weighed arguments over a 10-year federal law that bans the creation and sale of commercially available videos that depict graphic animal cruelty, such as pit bull fights and tewomen crushing small animals with their feet or high heels.

Justice Antonin Scalia said that the court needed to consider "the right of people who like cockfighting, who like dogfighting and who like bullfighting to present their side of the debate." When considering free speech, Scalia said that "it's not up to the government to decide what are people's worst instincts," and as opponents of animal fighting may be more inclined to express their views than supporters, that "side of the debate is entitled to make its point as forcefully as possible." In essence, Scalia thinks the right of people to watch animals fight might be just as, if not more important, than the animals' desire not to fight.

Is it really a debate? Animal rights advocate Stephanie Ernst calls Scalia a "Champion of The 'Right' to Torture Animals." No decision is expected until next year.