May 18, 2013
The United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas charged Ashley Nicole Richards and Brent Justice with creating and distributing animal crush videos in violation of the updated version of the animal crush video statute. Defense attorneys filed a motion to dismiss five counts of the indictment alleging that the animal crush video statute is content-based discrimination and is facially unconstitutional under the first amendment. In response to the motion to dismiss, the United States Attorney invoked two exclusions to the first amendment: obscenity and speech integral to criminal conduct. District Judge Sim Lake found that the statute does not fall under either exclusion. The Judge then evaluated whether this speech could be regulated. The Judge was persuaded that the government has a compelling interest in protecting animals from suffering due to cruel acts, but sadly, he found that the statute was not narrowly tailored to serve this interest.
Stopcrush.org believes that lawmakers did effectively craft the animal crush video statute so that it does not abridge the Constitution in that it is well-defined and narrowly limited to areas of expression in which the government may impose content-based restrictions. Stopcrush.org also agrees with the United States attorney that the freedom of speech guaranteed by the First Amendment excludes such types of expression.
The United States Attorney’s office must file a notice of appeal in regard to Judge Lake’s ruling. Upon approval of appeal from the Solicitor General, Stopcrush.org intends to file a motion for permission to file an Amicus brief in support of the appeal filed by the United States Attorney. In the Amicus Brief, counsel for Stopcrush.org, Daphne Silverman, intends to explore the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment from the creation to present including the exclusions and the requirements of narrowly tailoring any laws that do impact free speech. Counsel will explore these issues with the special knowledge of the nature of this horrific conduct and the creation of the statute held by Stopcrush.org founders. These videos are created to satisfy the prurient sexual interests of deviant members of society. Counsel believes that Stopcrush.org has the specialized knowledge of these films necessary to better inform the judiciary. Counsel is confident that the framers of the Constitution never intended to protect conduct that causes such suffering of any creatures.
Daphne Pattison Silverman
Silverman Law Group
501 North IH-35
Austin, Texas 78702
UPDATE as of 5/27/13: Everyone, we can breath a bit easier. We have reached our goal of garnering the necessary funding to pay our attorney, Daphne Pattison Silverman of the Silverman Law Group in Austin, Texas, thanks to all of you. We will be closing the event on Facebook to garner said funding, as it will no longer be necessary. We can not express proper thanks to those who donated to or shared our event. You are all angels to us!
From the entire team, we owe you our sincere gratitude…