Human Sacrifice at the Supreme Court
It’s only the second day of the term, but the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court are already indulging in their love for colorful hypothetical questions seemingly aimed at flummoxing the lawyers appearing before them.
This morning, in a high-profile First Amendment case about whether a criminal statute that bans the depiction of animal cruelty (U.S. v. Stevens), Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. was to blame.
Although the statute in question only applies to images of animal cruelty, such as dog fighting, Alito repeatedly asked one of the lawyers whether Congress, in theory, has the power to ban depictions of cruelty to humans.
Alito proposed a hypothetical “Human Sacrifice Channel” that could make sacrifices available live on pay-per-view.
As an alternative, he wondered whether a broadcast of Roman style gladiatorial combat could also be legal.
Probing further, Alito finally came up with “The Ethnic Cleansing Channel.”
It would certainly make a change from Law & Order re-runs.