United States v. Stevens , 559 U.S. 460 ( 2010 )


Menu:
  • (Slip Opinion)              OCTOBER TERM, 2009                                       1
    
                                           Syllabus
    
             NOTE: Where it is feasible, a syllabus (headnote) will be released, as is
           being done in connection with this case, at the time the opinion is issued.
           The syllabus constitutes no part of the opinion of the Court but has been
           prepared by the Reporter of Decisions for the convenience of the reader.
           See United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co., 
    200 U.S. 321
    , 337.
    
    
    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
    
                                           Syllabus
    
                        UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
    CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR
                      THE THIRD CIRCUIT
    
          No. 08–769.     Argued October 6, 2009—Decided April 20, 2010
    Congress enacted 
    18 U.S. C
    . §48 to criminalize the commercial crea
      tion, sale, or possession of certain depictions of animal cruelty. The
      statute addresses only portrayals of harmful acts, not the underlying
      conduct. It applies to any visual or auditory depiction “in which a liv
      ing animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or
      killed,” if that conduct violates federal or state law where “the crea
      tion, sale, or possession takes place,” §48(c)(1). Another clause ex
      empts depictions with “serious religious, political, scientific, educa
      tional, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.”     §48(b).  The
      legislative background of §48 focused primarily on “crush videos,”
      which feature the torture and killing of helpless animals and are said
      to appeal to persons with a specific sexual fetish. Respondent Ste
      vens was indicted under §48 for selling videos depicting dogfighting.
      He moved to dismiss, arguing that §48 is facially invalid under the
      First Amendment. The District Court denied his motion, and Ste
      vens was convicted. The Third Circuit vacated the conviction and de
      clared §48 facially unconstitutional as a content-based regulation of
      protected speech.
    Held: Section §48 is substantially overbroad, and therefore invalid un
     der the First Amendment. Pp. 5–20.
        (a) Depictions of animal cruelty are not, as a class, categorically
     unprotected by the First Amendment. Because §48 explicitly regu
     lates expression based on content, it is “ ‘presumptively invalid,’ . . .
     and the Government bears the burden to rebut that presumption.”
     United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group, Inc., 
    529 U.S. 803
    ,
     817. Since its enactment, the First Amendment has permitted re
     strictions on a few historic categories of speech—including obscenity,
     defamation, fraud, incitement, and speech integral to criminal con
    2                     UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                                       Syllabus
    
        duct—that “have never been thought to raise any Constitutional
        problem,” Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 
    315 U.S. 568
    , 572. Depic
        tions of animal cruelty should not be added to that list. While the
        prohibition of animal cruelty has a long history in American law,
        there is no evidence of a similar tradition prohibiting depictions of
        such cruelty. The Government’s proposed test would broadly balance
        the value of the speech against its societal costs to determine
        whether the First Amendment even applies. But the First Amend
        ment’s free speech guarantee does not extend only to categories of
        speech that survive an ad hoc balancing of relative social costs and
        benefits. The Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American
        people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Government out
        weigh the costs. New York v. Ferber, 
    458 U.S. 747
    , distinguished.
        Pp. 5–9.
           (b) Stevens’s facial challenge succeeds under existing doctrine.
        Pp. 9–20.
             (1) In the First Amendment context, a law may be invalidated as
        overbroad if “a ‘substantial number’ of its applications are unconsti
        tutional, ‘ “judged in relation to the statute’s plainly legitimate
        sweep.” ’ ” Washington State Grange v. Washington State Republican
        Party, 
    552 U.S. 442
    , 449, n. 6. Stevens claims that common depic
        tions of ordinary and lawful activities constitute the vast majority of
        materials subject to §48. The Government does not defend such ap
        plications, but contends that the statute is narrowly limited to spe
        cific types of extreme material. Section 48’s constitutionality thus
        turns on how broadly it is construed. Pp. 9–10.
             (2) Section 48 creates a criminal prohibition of alarming breadth.
        The statute’s definition of a “depiction of animal cruelty” does not
        even require that the depicted conduct be cruel. While the words
        “maimed, mutilated, [and] tortured” convey cruelty, “wounded” and
        “killed” do not. Those words have little ambiguity and should be read
        according to their ordinary meaning. Section 48 does require that the
        depicted conduct be “illegal,” but many federal and state laws con
        cerning the proper treatment of animals are not designed to guard
        against animal cruelty. For example, endangered species protections
        restrict even the humane wounding or killing of animals. The statute
        draws no distinction based on the reason the conduct is made illegal.
             Moreover, §48 applies to any depiction of conduct that is illegal
        in the State in which the depiction is created, sold, or possessed, “re
        gardless of whether the . . . wounding . . . or killing took place” there,
        §48(c)(1). Depictions of entirely lawful conduct may run afoul of the
        ban if those depictions later find their way into States where the
        same conduct is unlawful. This greatly expands §48’s scope, because
        views about animal cruelty and regulations having no connection to
                       Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                      3
    
                                  Syllabus
    
    cruelty vary widely from place to place. Hunting is unlawful in the
    District of Columbia, for example, but there is an enormous national
    market for hunting-related depictions, greatly exceeding the demand
    for crush videos or animal fighting depictions. Because the statute
    allows each jurisdiction to export its laws to the rest of the country,
    §48(a) applies to any magazine or video depicting lawful hunting that
    is sold in the Nation’s Capital. Those seeking to comply with the law
    face a bewildering maze of regulations from at least 56 separate ju
    risdictions. Pp. 11–15.
         (3) Limiting §48’s reach to crush videos and depictions of animal
    fighting or other extreme cruelty, as the Government suggests, re
    quires an unrealistically broad reading of the statute’s exceptions
    clause. The statute only exempts material with “serious” value, and
    “serious” must be taken seriously. The excepted speech must also fall
    within one of §48(b)’s enumerated categories. Much speech does not.
    For example, most hunting depictions are not obviously instructional
    in nature. The exceptions clause simply has no adequate reading
    that results in the statute’s banning only the depictions the Govern
    ment would like to ban.
         Although the language of §48(b) is drawn from the Court’s deci
    sion in Miller v. California, 
    413 U.S. 15
    , the exceptions clause does
    not answer every First Amendment objection. Under Miller, “seri
    ous” value shields depictions of sex from regulation as obscenity. But
    Miller did not determine that serious value could be used as a gen
    eral precondition to protecting other types of speech in the first place.
    Even “ ‘wholly neutral futilities . . . come under the protection of free
    speech.’ ” Cohen v. California, 
    403 U.S. 15
    , 25. The First Amend
    ment presumptively extends to many forms of speech that do not
    qualify for §48(b)’s serious-value exception, but nonetheless fall
    within §48(c)’s broad reach. Pp. 15–17.
         (4) Despite the Government’s assurance that it will apply §48 to
    reach only “extreme” cruelty, this Court will not uphold an unconsti
    tutional statute merely because the Government promises to use it
    responsibly. Nor can the Court construe this statutory language to
    avoid constitutional doubt. A limiting construction can be imposed
    only if the statute “is ‘readily susceptible’ to such a construction,”
    Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 
    521 U.S. 844
    , 884. To read
    §48 as the Government desires requires rewriting, not just reinter
    pretation. Pp. 18–19.
         (5) This construction of §48 decides the constitutional question.
    The Government makes no effort to defend §48 as applied beyond
    crush videos and depictions of animal fighting. It argues that those
    particular depictions are intrinsically related to criminal conduct or
    are analogous to obscenity (if not themselves obscene), and that the
    4                    UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                                     Syllabus
    
        ban on such speech would satisfy the proper level of scrutiny. But
        the Government nowhere extends these arguments to other depic
        tions, such as hunting magazines and videos, that are presumptively
        protected by the First Amendment but that remain subject to §48.
        Nor does the Government seriously contest that these presumptively
        impermissible applications of §48 far outnumber any permissible
        ones. The Court therefore does not decide whether a statute limited
        to crush videos or other depictions of extreme animal cruelty would
        be constitutional. Section 48 is not so limited but is instead substan
        tially overbroad, and therefore invalid under the First Amendment.
        Pp. 19–20.
    
    533 F.3d 218
    , affirmed.
    
       ROBERTS, C. J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which STEVENS,
    SCALIA, KENNEDY, THOMAS, GINSBURG, BREYER, and SOTOMAYOR, JJ.,
    joined. ALITO, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
                            Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                              1
    
                                 Opinion of the Court
    
         NOTICE: This opinion is subject to formal revision before publication in the
         preliminary print of the United States Reports. Readers are requested to
         notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Court of the United States, Wash
         ington, D. C. 20543, of any typographical or other formal errors, in order
         that corrections may be made before the preliminary print goes to press.
    
    
    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
                                       _________________
    
                                       No. 08–769
                                       _________________
    
    
          UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROBERT J. 
    
                        STEVENS 
    
     ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
    
                APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
    
                                     [April 20, 2010] 
    
    
       CHIEF JUSTICE ROBERTS delivered the opinion of the
    Court.
       Congress enacted 
    18 U.S. C
    . §48 to criminalize the
    commercial creation, sale, or possession of certain depic
    tions of animal cruelty. The statute does not address
    underlying acts harmful to animals, but only portrayals of
    such conduct. The question presented is whether the
    prohibition in the statute is consistent with the freedom of
    speech guaranteed by the First Amendment.
                                I
      Section 48 establishes a criminal penalty of up to five
    years in prison for anyone who knowingly “creates, sells,
    or possesses a depiction of animal cruelty,” if done “for
    commercial gain” in interstate or foreign commerce.
    §48(a).1 A depiction of “animal cruelty” is defined as one
    ——————
      1 The  statute reads in full:
      Ҥ48. Depiction of animal cruelty
         “(a) CREATION, SALE, OR POSSESSION.—Whoever knowingly creates,
    sells, or possesses a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of
    placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial
    gain, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 5
    2                    UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                               Opinion of the Court
    
    “in which a living animal is intentionally maimed, muti
    lated, tortured, wounded, or killed,” if that conduct vio
    lates federal or state law where “the creation, sale, or
    possession takes place.” §48(c)(1). In what is referred to
    as the “exceptions clause,” the law exempts from prohibi
    tion any depiction “that has serious religious, political,
    scientific, educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic
    value.” §48(b).
       The legislative background of §48 focused primarily on
    the interstate market for “crush videos.” According to the
    House Committee Report on the bill, such videos feature
    the intentional torture and killing of helpless animals,
    including cats, dogs, monkeys, mice, and hamsters. H. R.
    Rep. No. 106–397, p. 2 (1999) (hereinafter H. R. Rep.).
    Crush videos often depict women slowly crushing animals
    to death “with their bare feet or while wearing high heeled
    shoes,” sometimes while “talking to the animals in a kind
    of dominatrix patter” over “[t]he cries and squeals of the
    animals, obviously in great pain.” Ibid. Apparently these
    depictions “appeal to persons with a very specific sexual
    ——————
    years, or both.
         “(b) EXCEPTION.—Subsection (a) does not apply to any depiction
    that has serious religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic,
    historical, or artistic value.
         “(c) DEFINITIONS.—In this section—
            “(1) the term ‘depiction of animal cruelty’ means any visual or
    auditory depiction, including any photograph, motion-picture film,
    video recording, electronic image, or sound recording of conduct in
    which a living animal is intentionally maimed, mutilated, tortured,
    wounded, or killed, if such conduct is illegal under Federal law or the
    law of the State in which the creation, sale, or possession takes place,
    regardless of whether the maiming, mutilation, torture, wounding, or
    killing took place in the State; and
            “(2) the term ‘State’ means each of the several States, the Dis
    trict of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Is
    lands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern
    Mariana Islands, and any other commonwealth, territory, or possession
    of the United States.”
                        Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                   3
    
                             Opinion of the Court
    
    fetish who find them sexually arousing or otherwise excit
    ing.” Id., at 2–3. The acts depicted in crush videos are
    typically prohibited by the animal cruelty laws enacted by
    all 50 States and the District of Columbia. See Brief for
    United States 25, n. 7 (listing statutes). But crush videos
    rarely disclose the participants’ identities, inhibiting
    prosecution of the underlying conduct. See H. R. Rep., at
    3; accord, Brief for State of Florida et al. as Amici Curiae
    11.
       This case, however, involves an application of §48 to
    depictions of animal fighting. Dogfighting, for example, is
    unlawful in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, see
    Brief for United States 26, n. 8 (listing statutes), and has
    been restricted by federal law since 1976. Animal Welfare
    Act Amendments of 1976, §17, 90 Stat. 421, 
    7 U.S. C
    .
    §2156. Respondent Robert J. Stevens ran a business,
    “Dogs of Velvet and Steel,” and an associated Web site,
    through which he sold videos of pit bulls engaging in
    dogfights and attacking other animals. Among these
    videos were Japan Pit Fights and Pick-A-Winna: A Pit
    Bull Documentary, which include contemporary footage of
    dogfights in Japan (where such conduct is allegedly legal)
    as well as footage of American dogfights from the 1960’s
    and 1970’s.2 A third video, Catch Dogs and Country Liv
    ing, depicts the use of pit bulls to hunt wild boar, as well
    as a “gruesome” scene of a pit bull attacking a domestic
    farm pig. 
    533 F.3d 218
    , 221 (CA3 2008) (en banc). On the
    basis of these videos, Stevens was indicted on three counts
    of violating §48.
       Stevens moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that
    §48 is facially invalid under the First Amendment. The
    
    ——————
      2 TheGovernment contends that these dogfights were unlawful at the
    time they occurred, while Stevens disputes the assertion. Reply Brief
    for United States 25, n. 14 (hereinafter Reply Brief); Brief for Respon
    dent 44, n. 18.
    4               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    District Court denied the motion. It held that the depic
    tions subject to §48, like obscenity or child pornography,
    are categorically unprotected by the First Amendment.
    2:04–cr–00051–ANB (WD Pa., Nov. 10, 2004), App. to Pet.
    for Cert. 65a–71a. It went on to hold that §48 is not sub
    stantially overbroad, because the exceptions clause suffi
    ciently narrows the statute to constitutional applications.
    Id., at 71a–75a. The jury convicted Stevens on all counts,
    and the District Court sentenced him to three concurrent
    sentences of 37 months’ imprisonment, followed by three
    years of supervised release. App. 37.
       The en banc Third Circuit, over a three-judge dissent,
    declared §48 facially unconstitutional and vacated Ste
    vens’s conviction. 
    533 F.3d 218
    . The Court of Appeals
    first held that §48 regulates speech that is protected by
    the First Amendment. The Court declined to recognize a
    new category of unprotected speech for depictions of ani
    mal cruelty, id., at 224, and n. 6, and rejected the Gov
    ernment’s analogy between animal cruelty depictions and
    child pornography, id., at 224–232.
       The Court of Appeals then held that §48 could not sur
    vive strict scrutiny as a content-based regulation of pro
    tected speech. Id., at 232. It found that the statute lacked
    a compelling government interest and was neither nar
    rowly tailored to preventing animal cruelty nor the least
    restrictive means of doing so. Id., at 232–235. It therefore
    held §48 facially invalid.
       In an extended footnote, the Third Circuit noted that
    §48 “might also be unconstitutionally overbroad,” because
    it “potentially covers a great deal of constitutionally pro
    tected speech” and “sweeps [too] widely” to be limited only
    by prosecutorial discretion. Id., at 235, n. 16. But the
    Court of Appeals declined to rest its analysis on this
    ground.
       We granted certiorari. 
    556 U.S.
    ___ (2009).
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010) 
             5
    
                         Opinion of the Court 
    
    
                                 II 
    
       The Government’s primary submission is that §48 nec
    essarily complies with the Constitution because the
    banned depictions of animal cruelty, as a class, are
    categorically unprotected by the First Amendment. We
    disagree.
       The First Amendment provides that “Congress shall
    make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech.” “[A]s a
    general matter, the First Amendment means that gov
    ernment has no power to restrict expression because of its
    message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content.”
    Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union, 
    535 U.S. 564
    ,
    573 (2002) (internal quotation marks omitted). Section 48
    explicitly regulates expression based on content: The
    statute restricts “visual [and] auditory depiction[s],” such
    as photographs, videos, or sound recordings, depending on
    whether they depict conduct in which a living animal is
    intentionally harmed. As such, §48 is “ ‘presumptively
    invalid,’ and the Government bears the burden to rebut
    that presumption.” United States v. Playboy Entertain
    ment Group, Inc., 
    529 U.S. 803
    , 817 (2000) (quoting
    R. A. V. v. St. Paul, 
    505 U.S. 377
    , 382 (1992); citation
    omitted).
       “From 1791 to the present,” however, the First Amend
    ment has “permitted restrictions upon the content of
    speech in a few limited areas,” and has never “include[d] a
    freedom to disregard these traditional limitations.” Id., at
    382–383. These “historic and traditional categories long
    familiar to the bar,” Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of
    N. Y. State Crime Victims Bd., 
    502 U.S. 105
    , 127 (1991)
    (KENNEDY, J., concurring in judgment)—including obscen
    ity, Roth v. United States, 
    354 U.S. 476
    , 483 (1957), defa
    mation, Beauharnais v. Illinois, 
    343 U.S. 250
    , 254–255
    (1952), fraud, Virginia Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citi
    zens Consumer Council, Inc., 
    425 U.S. 748
    , 771 (1976),
    incitement, Brandenburg v. Ohio, 
    395 U.S. 444
    , 447–449
    6               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    (1969) (per curiam), and speech integral to criminal con
    duct, Giboney v. Empire Storage & Ice Co., 
    336 U.S. 490
    ,
    498 (1949)—are “well-defined and narrowly limited classes
    of speech, the prevention and punishment of which have
    never been thought to raise any Constitutional problem.”
    Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire, 
    315 U.S. 568
    , 571–572
    (1942).
       The Government argues that “depictions of animal
    cruelty” should be added to the list. It contends that
    depictions of “illegal acts of animal cruelty” that are
    “made, sold, or possessed for commercial gain” necessarily
    “lack expressive value,” and may accordingly “be regulated
    as unprotected speech.” Brief for United States 10 (em
    phasis added). The claim is not just that Congress may
    regulate depictions of animal cruelty subject to the First
    Amendment, but that these depictions are outside the
    reach of that Amendment altogether—that they fall into a
    “ ‘First Amendment Free Zone.’ ”          Board of Airport
    Comm’rs of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, Inc., 
    482 U.S. 569
    , 574 (1987).
       As the Government notes, the prohibition of animal
    cruelty itself has a long history in American law, starting
    with the early settlement of the Colonies. Reply Brief 12,
    n. 8; see, e.g., The Body of Liberties §92 (Mass. Bay Colony
    1641), reprinted in American Historical Documents 1000–
    1904, 43 Harvard Classics 66, 79 (C. Eliot ed. 1910) (“No
    man shall exercise any Tirranny or Crueltie towards any
    bruite Creature which are usuallie kept for man’s use”).
    But we are unaware of any similar tradition excluding
    depictions of animal cruelty from “the freedom of speech”
    codified in the First Amendment, and the Government
    points us to none.
       The Government contends that “historical evidence”
    about the reach of the First Amendment is not “a neces
    sary prerequisite for regulation today,” Reply Brief 12,
    n. 8, and that categories of speech may be exempted from
                      Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)            7
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
    the First Amendment’s protection without any long-settled
    tradition of subjecting that speech to regulation. Instead,
    the Government points to Congress’s “ ‘legislative judg
    ment that . . . depictions of animals being intentionally
    tortured and killed [are] of such minimal redeeming value
    as to render [them] unworthy of First Amendment protec
    tion,’ ” Brief for United States 23 (quoting 
    533 F. 3d
    , at 243
    (Cowen, J., dissenting)), and asks the Court to uphold the
    ban on the same basis. The Government thus proposes
    that a claim of categorical exclusion should be considered
    under a simple balancing test: “Whether a given category
    of speech enjoys First Amendment protection depends
    upon a categorical balancing of the value of the speech
    against its societal costs.” Brief for United States 8; see
    also id., at 12.
       As a free-floating test for First Amendment coverage,
    that sentence is startling and dangerous. The First
    Amendment’s guarantee of free speech does not extend
    only to categories of speech that survive an ad hoc balanc
    ing of relative social costs and benefits.         The First
    Amendment itself reflects a judgment by the American
    people that the benefits of its restrictions on the Govern
    ment outweigh the costs. Our Constitution forecloses any
    attempt to revise that judgment simply on the basis that
    some speech is not worth it. The Constitution is not a
    document “prescribing limits, and declaring that those
    limits may be passed at pleasure.” Marbury v. Madison, 1
    Cranch 137, 178 (1803).
       To be fair to the Government, its view did not emerge
    from a vacuum. As the Government correctly notes, this
    Court has often described historically unprotected catego
    ries of speech as being “ ‘of such slight social value as a
    step to truth that any benefit that may be derived from
    them is clearly outweighed by the social interest in order
    and morality.’ ” R. A. V., supra, at 383 (quoting Chap
    linsky, supra, at 572). In New York v. Ferber, 
    458 U.S. 8
                   UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    747 (1982), we noted that within these categories of unpro
    tected speech, “the evil to be restricted so overwhelmingly
    outweighs the expressive interests, if any, at stake, that
    no process of case-by-case adjudication is required,” be
    cause “the balance of competing interests is clearly
    struck,” id., at 763–764. The Government derives its
    proposed test from these descriptions in our precedents.
    See Brief for United States 12–13.
      But such descriptions are just that—descriptive. They
    do not set forth a test that may be applied as a general
    matter to permit the Government to imprison any speaker
    so long as his speech is deemed valueless or unnecessary,
    or so long as an ad hoc calculus of costs and benefits tilts
    in a statute’s favor.
      When we have identified categories of speech as fully
    outside the protection of the First Amendment, it has not
    been on the basis of a simple cost-benefit analysis. In
    Ferber, for example, we classified child pornography as
    such a category, 458 U. S., at 763. We noted that the
    State of New York had a compelling interest in protecting
    children from abuse, and that the value of using children
    in these works (as opposed to simulated conduct or adult
    actors) was de minimis. Id., at 756–757, 762. But our
    decision did not rest on this “balance of competing inter
    ests” alone. Id., at 764. We made clear that Ferber pre
    sented a special case: The market for child pornography
    was “intrinsically related” to the underlying abuse, and
    was therefore “an integral part of the production of such
    materials, an activity illegal throughout the Nation.” Id.,
    at 759, 761. As we noted, “ ‘[i]t rarely has been suggested
    that the constitutional freedom for speech and press ex
    tends its immunity to speech or writing used as an inte
    gral part of conduct in violation of a valid criminal stat
    ute.’ ” Id., at 761–762 (quoting Giboney, supra, at 498).
    Ferber thus grounded its analysis in a previously recog
    nized, long-established category of unprotected speech,
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)            9
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    and our subsequent decisions have shared this under
    standing. See Osborne v. Ohio, 
    495 U.S. 103
    , 110 (1990)
    (describing Ferber as finding “persuasive” the argument
    that the advertising and sale of child pornography was “an
    integral part” of its unlawful production (internal quota
    tion marks omitted)); Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coalition,
    
    535 U.S. 234
    , 249–250 (2002) (noting that distribution
    and sale “were intrinsically related to the sexual abuse of
    children,” giving the speech at issue “a proximate link to
    the crime from which it came” (internal quotation marks
    omitted)).
       Our decisions in Ferber and other cases cannot be taken
    as establishing a freewheeling authority to declare new
    categories of speech outside the scope of the First Amend
    ment. Maybe there are some categories of speech that
    have been historically unprotected, but have not yet been
    specifically identified or discussed as such in our case law.
    But if so, there is no evidence that “depictions of animal
    cruelty” is among them. We need not foreclose the future
    recognition of such additional categories to reject the
    Government’s highly manipulable balancing test as a
    means of identifying them.
                               III
      Because we decline to carve out from the First Amend
    ment any novel exception for §48, we review Stevens’s
    First Amendment challenge under our existing doctrine.
                                   A
       Stevens challenged §48 on its face, arguing that any
    conviction secured under the statute would be unconstitu
    tional. The court below decided the case on that basis, 
    533 F. 3d
    , at 231, n. 13, and we granted the Solicitor General’s
    petition for certiorari to determine “whether 
    18 U.S. C
    . 48
    is facially invalid under the Free Speech Clause of the
    First Amendment,” Pet. for Cert. i.
    10                  UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                             Opinion of the Court
    
       To succeed in a typical facial attack, Stevens would have
    to establish “that no set of circumstances exists under
    which [§48] would be valid,” United States v. Salerno, 
    481 U.S. 739
    , 745 (1987), or that the statute lacks any “plainly
    legitimate sweep,” Washington v. Glucksberg, 
    521 U.S. 702
    , 740, n. 7 (1997) (STEVENS, J., concurring in judg
    ments) (internal quotation marks omitted). Which stan
    dard applies in a typical case is a matter of dispute that
    we need not and do not address, and neither Salerno nor
    Glucksberg is a speech case. Here the Government asserts
    that Stevens cannot prevail because §48 is plainly legiti
    mate as applied to crush videos and animal fighting depic
    tions. Deciding this case through a traditional facial
    analysis would require us to resolve whether these appli
    cations of §48 are in fact consistent with the Constitution.
       In the First Amendment context, however, this Court
    recognizes “a second type of facial challenge,” whereby a
    law may be invalidated as overbroad if “a substantial
    number of its applications are unconstitutional, judged in
    relation to the statute’s plainly legitimate sweep.” Wash
    ington State Grange v. Washington State Republican
    Party, 
    552 U.S. 442
    , 449, n. 6 (2008) (internal quotation
    marks omitted). Stevens argues that §48 applies to com
    mon depictions of ordinary and lawful activities, and that
    these depictions constitute the vast majority of materials
    subject to the statute. Brief for Respondent 22–25. The
    Government makes no effort to defend such a broad ban as
    constitutional. Instead, the Government’s entire defense
    of §48 rests on interpreting the statute as narrowly lim
    ited to specific types of “extreme” material. Brief for
    United States 8. As the parties have presented the issue,
    therefore, the constitutionality of §48 hinges on how
    broadly it is construed. It is to that question that we now
    turn.3
    ——————
     3 The   dissent contends that because there has not been a ruling on
                          Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010) 
                      11
    
                              Opinion of the Court 
    
    
                                  B
    
       As we explained two Terms ago, “[t]he first step in
    overbreadth analysis is to construe the challenged statute;
    it is impossible to determine whether a statute reaches too
    far without first knowing what the statute covers.” United
    States v. Williams, 
    553 U.S. 285
    , 293 (2008). Because §48
    is a federal statute, there is no need to defer to a state
    court’s authority to interpret its own law.
       We read §48 to create a criminal prohibition of alarming
    breadth. To begin with, the text of the statute’s ban on a
    “depiction of animal cruelty” nowhere requires that the
    depicted conduct be cruel. That text applies to “any . . .
    depiction” in which “a living animal is intentionally
    maimed, mutilated, tortured, wounded, or killed.”
    §48(c)(1). “[M]aimed, mutilated, [and] tortured” convey
    cruelty, but “wounded” or “killed” do not suggest any such
    limitation.
       The Government contends that the terms in the defini
    tion should be read to require the additional element of
    “accompanying acts of cruelty.” Reply Brief 6; see also Tr.
    of Oral Arg. 17–19. (The dissent hinges on the same
    ——————
    the validity of the statute as applied to Stevens, our consideration of his
    facial overbreadth claim is premature. Post, at 1, and n. 1, 2–3 (opinion
    of ALITO, J.). Whether or not that conclusion follows, here no as-applied
    claim has been preserved. Neither court below construed Stevens’s
    briefs as adequately developing a separate attack on a defined subset of
    the statute’s applications (say, dogfighting videos). See 
    533 F.3d 218
    ,
    231, n. 13 (CA3 2008) (en banc) (“Stevens brings a facial challenge to
    the statute”); App. to Pet. for Cert. 65a, 74a. Neither did the Govern
    ment, see Brief for United States in No. 05–2497 (CA3), p. 28 (opposing
    “the appellant’s facial challenge”); accord, Brief for United States 4.
    The sentence in Stevens’s appellate brief mentioning his unrelated
    sufficiency-of-the-evidence challenge hardly developed a First Amend
    ment as-applied claim. See post, at 1, n. 1. Stevens’s constitutional
    argument is a general one. And unlike the challengers in Washington
    State Grange, Stevens does not “rest on factual assumptions . . . that
    can be evaluated only in the context of an as-applied challenge.” 552
    U. S., at 444.
    12               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
    assumption. See post, at 6, 9.) The Government bases
    this argument on the definiendum, “depiction of animal
    cruelty,” cf. Leocal v. Ashcroft, 
    543 U.S. 1
    , 11 (2004), and
    on “ ‘the commonsense canon of noscitur a sociis.’ ” Reply
    Brief 7 (quoting Williams, 553 U. S., at 294). As that
    canon recognizes, an ambiguous term may be “given more
    precise content by the neighboring words with which it is
    associated.” Ibid. Likewise, an unclear definitional
    phrase may take meaning from the term to be defined, see
    Leocal, supra, at 11 (interpreting a “ ‘substantial risk’ ” of
    the “us[e]” of “physical force” as part of the definition of
    “ ‘crime of violence’ ”).
        But the phrase “wounded . . . or killed” at issue here
    contains little ambiguity. The Government’s opening brief
    properly applies the ordinary meaning of these words,
    stating for example that to “ ‘kill’ is ‘to deprive of life.’ ”
    Brief for United States 14 (quoting Webster’s Third New
    International Dictionary 1242 (1993)). We agree that
    “wounded” and “killed” should be read according to their
    ordinary meaning. Cf. Engine Mfrs. Assn. v. South Coast
    Air Quality Management Dist., 
    541 U.S. 246
    , 252 (2004).
    Nothing about that meaning requires cruelty.
        While not requiring cruelty, §48 does require that the
    depicted conduct be “illegal.” But this requirement does
    not limit §48 along the lines the Government suggests.
    There are myriad federal and state laws concerning the
    proper treatment of animals, but many of them are not
    designed to guard against animal cruelty. Protections of
    endangered species, for example, restrict even the humane
    “wound[ing] or kill[ing]” of “living animal[s].” §48(c)(1).
    Livestock regulations are often designed to protect the
    health of human beings, and hunting and fishing rules
    (seasons, licensure, bag limits, weight requirements) can
    be designed to raise revenue, preserve animal populations,
    or prevent accidents. The text of §48(c) draws no distinc
    tion based on the reason the intentional killing of an
                         Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                    13
    
                              Opinion of the Court
    
    animal is made illegal, and includes, for example, the
    humane slaughter of a stolen cow.4
       What is more, the application of §48 to depictions of
    illegal conduct extends to conduct that is illegal in only a
    single jurisdiction. Under subsection (c)(1), the depicted
    conduct need only be illegal in “the State in which the
    creation, sale, or possession takes place, regardless of
    whether the . . . wounding . . . or killing took place in
    [that] State.” A depiction of entirely lawful conduct runs
    afoul of the ban if that depiction later finds its way into
    another State where the same conduct is unlawful. This
    provision greatly expands the scope of §48, because al
    though there may be “a broad societal consensus” against
    cruelty to animals, Brief for United States 2, there is
    substantial disagreement on what types of conduct are
    properly regarded as cruel. Both views about cruelty to
    animals and regulations having no connection to cruelty
    vary widely from place to place.
       In the District of Columbia, for example, all hunting is
    unlawful. D. C. Munic. Regs., tit. 19, §1560 (2009). Other
    jurisdictions permit or encourage hunting, and there is an
    enormous national market for hunting-related depictions
    in which a living animal is intentionally killed. Hunting
    periodicals have circulations in the hundreds of thousands
    or millions, see Mediaweek, Sept. 29, 2008, p. 28, and
    hunting television programs, videos, and Web sites are
    equally popular, see Brief for Professional Outdoor Media
    
    ——————
       4 The citations in the dissent’s appendix are beside the point. The
    
    cited statutes stand for the proposition that hunting is not covered by
    animal cruelty laws. But the reach of §48 is, as we have explained, not
    restricted to depictions of conduct that violates a law specifically
    directed at animal cruelty. It simply requires that the depicted conduct
    be “illegal.” §48(c)(1). The Government implicitly admits as much,
    arguing that “instructional videos for hunting” are saved by the stat
    ute’s exceptions clause, not that they fall outside the prohibition in the
    first place. Reply Brief 6.
    14               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
    Association et al. as Amici Curiae 9–10. The demand for
    hunting depictions exceeds the estimated demand for
    crush videos or animal fighting depictions by several
    orders of magnitude. Compare ibid. and Brief for National
    Rifle Association of America, Inc., as Amicus Curiae 12
    (hereinafter NRA Brief) (estimating that hunting maga
    zines alone account for $135 million in annual retail sales)
    with Brief for United States 43–44, 46 (suggesting $1
    million in crush video sales per year, and noting that
    Stevens earned $57,000 from his videos). Nonetheless,
    because the statute allows each jurisdiction to export its
    laws to the rest of the country, §48(a) extends to any
    magazine or video depicting lawful hunting, so long as
    that depiction is sold within the Nation’s Capital.
       Those seeking to comply with the law thus face a bewil
    dering maze of regulations from at least 56 separate juris
    dictions. Some States permit hunting with crossbows, Ga.
    Code Ann. §27–3–4(1) (2007); Va. Code Ann. §29.1–
    519(A)(6) (Lexis 2008 Cum. Supp.), while others forbid it,
    Ore. Admin. Reg. 635–065–0725 (2009), or restrict it only
    to the disabled, N. Y. Envir. Conserv. Law Ann. §11–
    0901(16) (West 2005). Missouri allows the “canned” hunt
    ing of ungulates held in captivity, Mo. Code Regs. Ann.,
    tit. 3, 10–9.560(1), but Montana restricts such hunting to
    certain bird species, Mont. Admin. Rule 12.6.1202(1)
    (2007). The sharp-tailed grouse may be hunted in Idaho,
    but not in Washington. Compare Idaho Admin. Code
    §13.01.09.606 (2009) with Wash. Admin. Code §232–28–
    342 (2009).
       The disagreements among the States—and the “com
    monwealth[s], territor[ies], or possession[s] of the United
    States,” 
    18 U.S. C
    . §48(c)(2)—extend well beyond hunting.
    State agricultural regulations permit different methods of
    livestock slaughter in different places or as applied to differ
    ent animals. Compare, e.g., Fla. Stat. §828.23(5) (2007)
    (excluding poultry from humane slaughter requirements)
                      Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)           15
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
    with Cal. Food & Agric. Code Ann. §19501(b) (West 2001)
    (including some poultry). California has recently banned
    cutting or “docking” the tails of dairy cattle, which other
    States permit. 2009 Cal. Legis. Serv. Ch. 344 (S. B. 135)
    (West). Even cockfighting, long considered immoral in
    much of America, see Barnes v. Glen Theatre, Inc., 
    501 U.S. 560
    , 575 (1991) (SCALIA, J., concurring in judgment),
    is legal in Puerto Rico, see 15 Laws P. R. Ann. §301 (Supp.
    2008); Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Co. of
    P. R., 
    478 U.S. 328
    , 342 (1986), and was legal in Louisi
    ana until 2008, see La. Stat. Ann. §14:102.23 (West) (effec
    tive Aug. 15, 2008). An otherwise-lawful image of any of
    these practices, if sold or possessed for commercial gain
    within a State that happens to forbid the practice, falls
    within the prohibition of §48(a).
                                  C
       The only thing standing between defendants who sell
    such depictions and five years in federal prison—other
    than the mercy of a prosecutor—is the statute’s exceptions
    clause. Subsection (b) exempts from prohibition “any
    depiction that has serious religious, political, scientific,
    educational, journalistic, historical, or artistic value.” The
    Government argues that this clause substantially narrows
    the statute’s reach: News reports about animal cruelty
    have “journalistic” value; pictures of bullfights in Spain
    have “historical” value; and instructional hunting videos
    have “educational” value. Reply Brief 6. Thus, the Gov
    ernment argues, §48 reaches only crush videos, depictions
    of animal fighting (other than Spanish bullfighting, see
    Brief for United States 47–48), and perhaps other depic
    tions of “extreme acts of animal cruelty.” Id., at 41.
       The Government’s attempt to narrow the statutory ban,
    however, requires an unrealistically broad reading of the
    exceptions clause. As the Government reads the clause,
    any material with “redeeming societal value,” id., at 9, 16,
    16              UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    23, “ ‘at least some minimal value,’ ” Reply Brief 6 (quoting
    H. R. Rep., at 4), or anything more than “scant social
    value,” Reply Brief 11, is excluded under §48(b). But the
    text says “serious” value, and “serious” should be taken
    seriously.      We decline the Government’s invitation—
    advanced for the first time in this Court—to regard as
    “serious” anything that is not “scant.” (Or, as the dissent
    puts it, “ ‘trifling.’ ” Post, at 6.) As the Government recog
    nized below, “serious” ordinarily means a good bit more.
    The District Court’s jury instructions required value that
    is “significant and of great import,” App. 132, and the
    Government defended these instructions as properly
    relying on “a commonly accepted meaning of the word
    ‘serious,’ ” Brief for United States in No. 05–2497 (CA3), p.
    50.
       Quite apart from the requirement of “serious” value in
    §48(b), the excepted speech must also fall within one of the
    enumerated categories. Much speech does not. Most
    hunting videos, for example, are not obviously instruc
    tional in nature, except in the sense that all life is a les
    son. According to Safari Club International and the Con
    gressional Sportsmen’s Foundation, many popular videos
    “have primarily entertainment value” and are designed to
    “entertai[n] the viewer, marke[t] hunting equipment, or
    increas[e] the hunting community.” Brief for Safari Club
    International et al. as Amici Curiae 12. The National
    Rifle Association agrees that “much of the content of hunt
    ing media . . . is merely recreational in nature.” NRA Brief
    28. The Government offers no principled explanation why
    these depictions of hunting or depictions of Spanish bull
    fights would be inherently valuable while those of Japa
    nese dogfights are not. The dissent contends that hunting
    depictions must have serious value because hunting has
    serious value, in a way that dogfights presumably do not.
    Post, at 6–8. But §48(b) addresses the value of the depic
    tions, not of the underlying activity. There is simply no
                      Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)             17
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
    adequate reading of the exceptions clause that results in
    the statute’s banning only the depictions the Government
    would like to ban.
        The Government explains that the language of §48(b)
    was largely drawn from our opinion in Miller v. California,
    
    413 U.S. 15
     (1973), which excepted from its definition of
    obscenity any material with “serious literary, artistic,
    political, or scientific value,” id., at 24. See Reply Brief 8,
    9, and n. 5. According to the Government, this incorpora
    tion of the Miller standard into §48 is therefore surely
    enough to answer any First Amendment objection. Reply
    Brief 8–9.
        In Miller we held that “serious” value shields depictions
    of sex from regulation as obscenity. 413 U. S., at 24–25.
    Limiting Miller’s exception to “serious” value ensured that
    “ ‘[a] quotation from Voltaire in the flyleaf of a book
    [would] not constitutionally redeem an otherwise obscene
    publication.’ ” Id., at 25, n. 7 (quoting Kois v. Wisconsin,
    
    408 U.S. 229
    , 231 (1972) (per curiam)). We did not, how
    ever, determine that serious value could be used as a
    general precondition to protecting other types of speech in
    the first place. Most of what we say to one another lacks
    “religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic,
    historical, or artistic value” (let alone serious value), but it
    is still sheltered from government regulation. Even
    “ ‘[w]holly neutral futilities . . . come under the protection
    of free speech as fully as do Keats’ poems or Donne’s ser
    mons.’ ” Cohen v. California, 
    403 U.S. 15
    , 25 (1971) (quot
    ing Winters v. New York, 
    333 U.S. 507
    , 528 (1948) (Frank
    furter, J., dissenting); alteration in original).
        Thus, the protection of the First Amendment presump
    tively extends to many forms of speech that do not qualify
    for the serious-value exception of §48(b), but nonetheless
    fall within the broad reach of §48(c).
    18               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                          Opinion of the Court
    
                                    D
       Not to worry, the Government says: The Executive
    Branch construes §48 to reach only “extreme” cruelty,
    Brief for United States 8, and it “neither has brought nor
    will bring a prosecution for anything less,” Reply Brief 6–
    7. The Government hits this theme hard, invoking its
    prosecutorial discretion several times. See id., at 6–7, 10,
    and n. 6, 19, 22. But the First Amendment protects
    against the Government; it does not leave us at the mercy
    of noblesse oblige. We would not uphold an unconstitu
    tional statute merely because the Government promised to
    use it responsibly. Cf. Whitman v. American Trucking
    Assns., Inc., 
    531 U.S. 457
    , 473 (2001).
       This prosecution is itself evidence of the danger in put
    ting faith in government representations of prosecutorial
    restraint. When this legislation was enacted, the Execu
    tive Branch announced that it would interpret §48 as
    covering only depictions “of wanton cruelty to animals
    designed to appeal to a prurient interest in sex.” See
    Statement by President William J. Clinton upon Signing
    H. R. 1887, 34 Weekly Comp. Pres. Doc. 2557 (Dec. 9,
    1999). No one suggests that the videos in this case fit that
    description. The Government’s assurance that it will
    apply §48 far more restrictively than its language provides
    is pertinent only as an implicit acknowledgment of the
    potential constitutional problems with a more natural
    reading.
       Nor can we rely upon the canon of construction that
    “ambiguous statutory language [should] be construed to
    avoid serious constitutional doubts.” FCC v. Fox Televi
    sion Stations, Inc., 
    556 U.S.
    ___, ___ (2009) (slip op., at
    12). “[T]his Court may impose a limiting construction on a
    statute only if it is ‘readily susceptible’ to such a construc
    tion.” Reno v. American Civil Liberties Union, 
    521 U.S. 844
    , 884 (1997). We “ ‘will not rewrite a . . . law to conform
    it to constitutional requirements,’ ” id., at 884–885 (quot
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)          19
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    ing Virginia v. American Booksellers Assn., Inc., 
    484 U.S. 383
    , 397 (1988); omission in original), for doing so would
    constitute a “serious invasion of the legislative domain,”
    United States v. Treasury Employees, 
    513 U.S. 454
    , 479,
    n. 26 (1995), and sharply diminish Congress’s “incentive to
    draft a narrowly tailored law in the first place,” Osborne,
    495 U. S., at 121. To read §48 as the Government desires
    requires rewriting, not just reinterpretation.
                            *     *     *
       Our construction of §48 decides the constitutional ques
    tion; the Government makes no effort to defend the consti
    tutionality of §48 as applied beyond crush videos and
    depictions of animal fighting. It argues that those particu
    lar depictions are intrinsically related to criminal conduct
    or are analogous to obscenity (if not themselves obscene),
    and that the ban on such speech is narrowly tailored to
    reinforce restrictions on the underlying conduct, prevent
    additional crime arising from the depictions, or safeguard
    public mores. But the Government nowhere attempts to
    extend these arguments to depictions of any other activi
    ties—depictions that are presumptively protected by the
    First Amendment but that remain subject to the criminal
    sanctions of §48.
       Nor does the Government seriously contest that the
    presumptively impermissible applications of §48 (properly
    construed) far outnumber any permissible ones. However
    “growing” and “lucrative” the markets for crush videos and
    dogfighting depictions might be, see Brief for United
    States 43, 46 (internal quotation marks omitted), they are
    dwarfed by the market for other depictions, such as hunt
    ing magazines and videos, that we have determined to be
    within the scope of §48. See supra, at 13–14. We there
    fore need not and do not decide whether a statute limited
    to crush videos or other depictions of extreme animal
    cruelty would be constitutional. We hold only that §48 is
    20              UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         Opinion of the Court
    
    not so limited but is instead substantially overbroad, and
    therefore invalid under the First Amendment.
      The judgment of the United States Court of Appeals for
    the Third Circuit is affirmed.
                                                It is so ordered.
                          Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                      1
    
                               ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES
                                   _________________
    
                                    No. 08–769
                                   _________________
    
    
          UNITED STATES, PETITIONER v. ROBERT J. 
    
                        STEVENS 
    
     ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF
    
                APPEALS FOR THE THIRD CIRCUIT
    
                                 [April 20, 2010] 
    
    
      JUSTICE ALITO, dissenting.
      The Court strikes down in its entirety a valuable stat
    ute, 
    18 U.S. C
    . §48, that was enacted not to suppress
    speech, but to prevent horrific acts of animal cruelty—in
    particular, the creation and commercial exploitation of
    “crush videos,” a form of depraved entertainment that has
    no social value. The Court’s approach, which has the
    practical effect of legalizing the sale of such videos and is
    thus likely to spur a resumption of their production, is
    unwarranted. Respondent was convicted under §48 for
    selling videos depicting dogfights. On appeal, he argued,
    among other things, that §48 is unconstitutional as ap
    plied to the facts of this case, and he highlighted features
    of those videos that might distinguish them from other
    dogfight videos brought to our attention.1 The Court of
    ——————
      1 Respondent     argued at length that the evidence was insufficient to
    prove that the particular videos he sold lacked any serious scientific,
    educational, or historical value and thus fell outside the exception in
    §48(b). See Brief for Appellant in No. 05–2497 (CA3), pp. 72–79. He
    added that, if the evidence in this case was held to be sufficient to take
    his videos outside the scope of the exception, then “this case presents
    . . . a situation” in which “a constitutional violation occurs.” Id., at 71.
    See also id., at 47 (“The applicability of 
    18 U.S. C
    . §48 to speech which
    is not a crush video or an appeal to some prurient sexual interest
    constitutes a restriction of protected speech, and an unwarranted
    violation of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee”); Brief for
    2                   UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                              ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    Appeals—incorrectly, in my view—declined to decide
    whether §48 is unconstitutional as applied to respondent’s
    videos and instead reached out to hold that the statute is
    facially invalid. Today’s decision does not endorse the
    Court of Appeals’ reasoning, but it nevertheless strikes
    down §48 using what has been aptly termed the “strong
    medicine” of the overbreadth doctrine, United States v.
    Williams, 
    553 U.S. 285
    , 293 (2008) (internal quotation
    marks omitted), a potion that generally should be admin
    istered only as “a last resort.” Los Angeles Police Dept. v.
    United Reporting Publishing Corp., 
    528 U.S. 32
    , 39 (1999)
    (internal quotation marks omitted).
       Instead of applying the doctrine of overbreadth, I would
    vacate the decision below and instruct the Court of Ap
    peals on remand to decide whether the videos that respon
    dent sold are constitutionally protected. If the question of
    overbreadth is to be decided, however, I do not think the
    present record supports the Court’s conclusion that §48
    bans a substantial quantity of protected speech.
                                 I
       A party seeking to challenge the constitutionality of a
    statute generally must show that the statute violates the
    party’s own rights. New York v. Ferber, 
    458 U.S. 747
    , 767
    (1982). The First Amendment overbreadth doctrine carves
    out a narrow exception to that general rule. See id., at
    768; Broadrick v. Oklahoma, 
    413 U.S. 601
    , 611–612
    (1973). Because an overly broad law may deter constitu
    tionally protected speech, the overbreadth doctrine allows
    
    ——————
    Respondent 55 (“Stevens’ speech does not fit within any existing
    category of unprotected, prosecutable speech”); id., at 57 (“[T]he record
    as a whole demonstrates that Stevens’ speech cannot constitutionally
    be punished”). Contrary to the Court, ante, at 10–11, n. 3 (citing 
    533 F.3d 218
    , 231, n. 13 (CA3 2008) (en banc)), I see no suggestion in the
    opinion of the Court of Appeals that respondent did not preserve an as
    applied challenge.
                          Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                       3
    
                               ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    a party to whom the law may constitutionally be applied
    to challenge the statute on the ground that it violates the
    First Amendment rights of others. See, e.g., Board of
    Trustees of State Univ. of N. Y. v. Fox, 
    492 U.S. 469
    , 483
    (1989) (“Ordinarily, the principal advantage of the over
    breadth doctrine for a litigant is that it enables him to
    benefit from the statute’s unlawful application to someone
    else”); see also Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Assn., 
    436 U.S. 447
    , 462, n. 20 (1978) (describing the doctrine as one
    “under which a person may challenge a statute that in
    fringes protected speech even if the statute constitution
    ally might be applied to him”).
       The “strong medicine” of overbreadth invalidation need
    not and generally should not be administered when the
    statute under attack is unconstitutional as applied to the
    challenger before the court. As we said in Fox, supra, at
    484–485, “[i]t is not the usual judicial practice, . . . nor do
    we consider it generally desirable, to proceed to an over
    breadth issue unnecessarily—that is, before it is deter
    mined that the statute would be valid as applied.” Accord,
    New York State Club Assn., Inc. v. City of New York, 
    487 U.S. 1
    , 11 (1988); see also Broadrick, supra, at 613;
    United Reporting Publishing Corp., supra, at 45 (STEVENS,
    J., dissenting).
       I see no reason to depart here from the generally pre
    ferred procedure of considering the question of over
    breadth only as a last resort.2 Because the Court has
    addressed the overbreadth question, however, I will ex
    plain why I do not think that the record supports the
    conclusion that §48, when properly interpreted, is overly
    broad.
    
    
    
    ——————
      2 For the reasons set forth below, this is not a case in which the chal
    
    lenged statute is unconstitutional in all or almost all of its applications.
    4               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
                                  II
       The overbreadth doctrine “strike[s] a balance between
    competing social costs.” Williams, 553 U. S., at 292.
    Specifically, the doctrine seeks to balance the “harmful
    effects” of “invalidating a law that in some of its applica
    tions is perfectly constitutional” against the possibility
    that “the threat of enforcement of an overbroad law [will]
    dete[r] people from engaging in constitutionally protected
    speech.” Ibid. “In order to maintain an appropriate bal
    ance, we have vigorously enforced the requirement that a
    statute’s overbreadth be substantial, not only in an abso
    lute sense, but also relative to the statute’s plainly legiti
    mate sweep.” Ibid.
       In determining whether a statute’s overbreadth is sub
    stantial, we consider a statute’s application to real-world
    conduct, not fanciful hypotheticals. See, e.g., id., at 301–
    302; see also Ferber, supra, at 773; Houston v. Hill, 
    482 U.S. 451
    , 466–467 (1987). Accordingly, we have repeat
    edly emphasized that an overbreadth claimant bears the
    burden of demonstrating, “from the text of [the law] and
    from actual fact,” that substantial overbreadth exists.
    Virginia v. Hicks, 
    539 U.S. 113
    , 122 (2003) (quoting New
    York State Club Assn., supra, at 14; emphasis added;
    internal quotation marks omitted; alteration in original).
    Similarly, “there must be a realistic danger that the stat
    ute itself will significantly compromise recognized First
    Amendment protections of parties not before the Court for
    it to be facially challenged on overbreadth grounds.”
    Members of City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for
    Vincent, 
    466 U.S. 789
    , 801 (1984) (emphasis added).
                                 III
      In holding that §48 violates the overbreadth rule, the
    Court declines to decide whether, as the Government
    maintains, §48 is constitutional as applied to two broad
    categories of depictions that exist in the real world: crush
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)            5
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    videos and depictions of deadly animal fights. See ante, at
    10, 19. Instead, the Court tacitly assumes for the sake of
    argument that §48 is valid as applied to these depictions,
    but the Court concludes that §48 reaches too much pro
    tected speech to survive. The Court relies primarily on
    depictions of hunters killing or wounding game and depic
    tions of animals being slaughtered for food. I address the
    Court’s examples below.
                                    A
       I turn first to depictions of hunting. As the Court notes,
    photographs and videos of hunters shooting game are
    common. See ante, at 13–14. But hunting is legal in all
    50 States, and §48 applies only to a depiction of conduct
    that is illegal in the jurisdiction in which the depiction is
    created, sold, or possessed. §§48(a), (c). Therefore, in all
    50 States, the creation, sale, or possession for sale of the
    vast majority of hunting depictions indisputably falls
    outside §48’s reach.
       Straining to find overbreadth, the Court suggests that
    §48 prohibits the sale or possession in the District of Co
    lumbia of any depiction of hunting because the District—
    undoubtedly because of its urban character—does not
    permit hunting within its boundaries. Ante, at 13. The
    Court also suggests that, because some States prohibit a
    particular type of hunting (e.g., hunting with a crossbow
    or “canned” hunting) or the hunting of a particular animal
    (e.g., the “sharp-tailed grouse”), §48 makes it illegal for
    persons in such States to sell or possess for sale a depic
    tion of hunting that was perfectly legal in the State in
    which the hunting took place. See ante, at 12–14.
       The Court’s interpretation is seriously flawed. “When a
    federal court is dealing with a federal statute challenged
    as overbroad, it should, of course, construe the statute to
    avoid constitutional problems, if the statute is subject to
    such a limiting construction.” Ferber, 458 U. S., at 769,
    6                   UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                             ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    n. 24. See also Williams, supra, at 307 (STEVENS, J.,
    concurring) (“[T]o the extent the statutory text alone is
    unclear, our duty to avoid constitutional objections makes
    it especially appropriate to look beyond the text in order to
    ascertain the intent of its drafters”).
       Applying this canon, I would hold that §48 does not
    apply to depictions of hunting. First, because §48 targets
    depictions of “animal cruelty,” I would interpret that
    term to apply only to depictions involving acts of animal
    cruelty as defined by applicable state or federal law, not
    to depictions of acts that happen to be illegal for reasons
    having nothing to do with the prevention of animal cru
    elty. See ante, at 12–13 (interpreting “[t]he text of §48(c)”
    to ban a depiction of “the humane slaughter of a stolen
    cow”). Virtually all state laws prohibiting animal cruelty
    either expressly define the term “animal” to exclude
    wildlife or else specifically exempt lawful hunting activi
    ties,3 so the statutory prohibition set forth in §48(a) may
    reasonably be interpreted not to reach most if not all
    hunting depictions.
       Second, even if the hunting of wild animals were other
    wise covered by §48(a), I would hold that hunting depic
    tions fall within the exception in §48(b) for depictions that
    have “serious” (i.e., not “trifling”4) “scientific,” “educa
    ——————
       3 See Appendix, infra (citing statutes); B. Wagman, S. Waisman, & P.
    
    Frasch, Animal Law: Cases and Materials 92 (4th ed. 2010) (“Most anti
    cruelty laws also include one or more exemptions,” which often “ex
    clud[e] from coverage (1) whole classes of animals, such as wildlife or
    farm animals, or (2) specific activities, such as hunting”); Note, Eco
    nomics and Ethics in the Genetic Engineering of Animals, 19 Harv.
    J. L. & Tech. 413, 432 (2006) (“Not surprisingly, state laws relating to
    the humane treatment of wildlife, including deer, elk, and waterfowl,
    are virtually non-existent”).
       4 Webster’s Third New International Dictionary 2073 (1976); Random
    
    House Dictionary of the English Language 1303 (1966). While the term
    “serious” may also mean “weighty” or “important,” ibid., we should
    adopt the former definition if necessary to avoid unconstitutionality.
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)            7
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    tional,” or “historical” value. While there are certainly
    those who find hunting objectionable, the predominant
    view in this country has long been that hunting serves
    many important values, and it is clear that Congress
    shares that view. Since 1972, when Congress called upon
    the President to designate a National Hunting and Fish
    ing Day, see S. J. Res. 117, 92d Cong., 2d Sess. (1972), 86
    Stat. 133, Presidents have regularly issued proclamations
    extolling the values served by hunting. See Presidential
    Proclamation No. 8421, 74 Fed. Reg. 49305 (Pres. Obama
    2009) (hunting and fishing are “ageless pursuits” that
    promote “the conservation and restoration of numerous
    species and their natural habitats”); Presidential Procla
    mation No. 8295, 73 Fed. Reg. 57233 (Pres. Bush 2008)
    (hunters and anglers “add to our heritage and keep our
    wildlife populations healthy and strong,” and “are among
    our foremost conservationists”); Presidential Proclamation
    No. 7822, 69 Fed. Reg. 59539 (Pres. Bush 2004) (hunting
    and fishing are “an important part of our Nation’s heri
    tage,” and “America’s hunters and anglers represent the
    great spirit of our country”); Presidential Proclamation No.
    4682, 44 Fed. Reg. 53149 (Pres. Carter 1979) (hunting
    promotes conservation and an appreciation of “healthy
    recreation, peaceful solitude and closeness to nature”);
    Presidential Proclamation No. 4318, 39 Fed. Reg. 35315
    (Pres. Ford 1974) (hunting furthers “appreciation and
    respect for nature” and preservation of the environment).
    Thus, it is widely thought that hunting has “scientific”
    value in that it promotes conservation, “historical” value
    in that it provides a link to past times when hunting
    played a critical role in daily life, and “educational” value
    in that it furthers the understanding and appreciation of
    nature and our country’s past and instills valuable charac
    ter traits. And if hunting itself is widely thought to serve
    these values, then it takes but a small additional step to
    conclude that depictions of hunting make a non-trivial
    8               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    contribution to the exchange of ideas. Accordingly, I
    would hold that hunting depictions fall comfortably within
    the exception set out in §48(b).
      I do not have the slightest doubt that Congress, in en
    acting §48, had no intention of restricting the creation,
    sale, or possession of depictions of hunting. Proponents of
    the law made this point clearly. See H. R. Rep. No. 106–
    397, p. 8 (1999) (hereinafter H. R. Rep.) (“[D]epictions of
    ordinary hunting and fishing activities do not fall within
    the scope of the statute”); 145 Cong. Rec. 25894 (Oct. 19,
    1999) (Rep. McCollum) (“[T]he sale of depictions of legal
    activities, such as hunting and fishing, would not be illegal
    under this bill”); id., at 25895 (Rep. Smith) (“[L]et us be
    clear as to what this legislation will not do. It will in no
    way prohibit hunting, fishing, or wildlife videos”). Indeed,
    even opponents acknowledged that §48 was not intended
    to reach ordinary hunting depictions. See ibid. (Rep.
    Scott); id., at 25897 (Rep. Paul).
      For these reasons, I am convinced that §48 has no appli
    cation to depictions of hunting. But even if §48 did imper
    missibly reach the sale or possession of depictions of hunt
    ing in a few unusual situations (for example, the sale in
    Oregon of a depiction of hunting with a crossbow in Vir
    ginia or the sale in Washington State of the hunting of a
    sharp-tailed grouse in Idaho, see ante, at 14), those iso
    lated applications would hardly show that §48 bans a
    substantial amount of protected speech.
                                 B
       Although the Court’s overbreadth analysis rests primar
    ily on the proposition that §48 substantially restricts the
    sale and possession of hunting depictions, the Court cites
    a few additional examples, including depictions of methods
    of slaughter and the docking of the tails of dairy cows. See
    ante, at 14–15.
       Such examples do not show that the statute is substan
                       Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)               9
    
                           ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    tially overbroad, for two reasons. First, as explained
    above, §48 can reasonably be construed to apply only to
    depictions involving acts of animal cruelty as defined by
    applicable state or federal law, and anti-cruelty laws do
    not ban the sorts of acts depicted in the Court’s hypotheti
    cals. See, e.g., Idaho Code §25–3514 (Lexis 2000) (“No
    part of this chapter [prohibiting cruelty to animals] shall
    be construed as interfering with or allowing interference
    with . . . [t]he humane slaughter of any animal normally
    and commonly raised as food or for production of fiber . . .
    [or] [n]ormal or accepted practices of . . . animal hus
    bandry”); Kan. Stat. Ann. § 21–4310(b) (2007) (“The provi
    sions of this section shall not apply to . . . with respect to
    farm animals, normal or accepted practices of animal
    husbandry, including the normal and accepted practices
    for the slaughter of such animals”); Md. Crim. Law Code
    Ann. §10–603 (Lexis 2002) (sections prohibiting animal
    cruelty “do not apply to . . . customary and normal veteri
    nary and agricultural husbandry practices, including
    dehorning, castration, tail docking, and limit feeding”).
       Second, nothing in the record suggests that any one has
    ever created, sold, or possessed for sale a depiction of the
    slaughter of food animals or of the docking of the tails of
    dairy cows that would not easily qualify under the excep
    tion set out in §48(b). Depictions created to show proper
    methods of slaughter or tail-docking would presumably
    have serious “educational” value, and depictions created to
    focus attention on methods thought to be inhumane or
    otherwise objectionable would presumably have either
    serious “educational” or “journalistic” value or both. In
    short, the Court’s examples of depictions involving the
    docking of tails and humane slaughter do not show that
    §48 suffers from any overbreadth, much less substantial
    overbreadth.
       The Court notes, finally, that cockfighting, which is
    illegal in all States, is still legal in Puerto Rico, ante, at 15,
    10                  UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                              ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    and I take the Court’s point to be that it would be imper
    missible to ban the creation, sale, or possession in Puerto
    Rico of a depiction of a cockfight that was legally staged in
    Puerto Rico.5 But assuming for the sake of argument that
    this is correct, this veritable sliver of unconstitutionality
    would not be enough to justify striking down §48 in toto.
       In sum, we have a duty to interpret §48 so as to avoid
    serious constitutional concerns, and §48 may reasonably
    be construed not to reach almost all, if not all, of the depic
    tions that the Court finds constitutionally protected.
    Thus, §48 does not appear to have a large number of un
    constitutional applications. Invalidation for overbreadth
    is appropriate only if the challenged statute suffers from
    substantial overbreadth—judged not just in absolute
    terms, but in relation to the statute’s “plainly legitimate
    sweep.” Williams, 553 U. S., at 292. As I explain in the
    following Part, §48 has a substantial core of constitution
    ally permissible applications.
                                 IV
                                  A
                                  1
      As the Court of Appeals recognized, “the primary con
    duct that Congress sought to address through its passage
    [of §48] was the creation, sale, or possession of ‘crush
    videos.’ ” 
    533 F.3d 218
    , 222 (CA3 2008) (en banc). A
    sample crush video, which has been lodged with the Clerk,
    records the following event:
    
    ——————
      5 Since the Court has taken pains not to decide whether §48 would be
    unconstitutional as applied to graphic dogfight videos, including those
    depicting fights occurring in countries where dogfighting is legal, I take
    it that the Court does not intend for its passing reference to cockfights
    to mean either that all depictions of cockfights, whether legal or illegal
    under local law, are protected by the First Amendment or that it is
    impermissible to ban the sale or possession in the States of a depiction
    of a legal cockfight in Puerto Rico.
                      Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)           11
    
                          ALITO, J., dissenting
    
        “[A] kitten, secured to the ground, watches and
        shrieks in pain as a woman thrusts her high-heeled
        shoe into its body, slams her heel into the kitten’s eye
        socket and mouth loudly fracturing its skull, and
        stomps repeatedly on the animal’s head. The kitten
        hemorrhages blood, screams blindly in pain, and is ul
        timately left dead in a moist pile of blood-soaked hair
        and bone.” Brief for Humane Society of United States
        as Amicus Curiae 2 (hereinafter Humane Society
        Brief).
       It is undisputed that the conduct depicted in crush
    videos may constitutionally be prohibited. All 50 States
    and the District of Columbia have enacted statutes prohib
    iting animal cruelty. See 
    533 F. 3d
    , at 223, and n. 4 (citing
    statutes); H. R. Rep., at 3. But before the enactment of
    §48, the underlying conduct depicted in crush videos was
    nearly impossible to prosecute. These videos, which “ often
    appeal to persons with a very specific sexual fetish,” id., at
    2, were made in secret, generally without a live audience,
    and “the faces of the women inflicting the torture in the
    material often were not shown, nor could the location of
    the place where the cruelty was being inflicted or the date
    of the activity be ascertained from the depiction.” Id., at 3.
    Thus, law enforcement authorities often were not able to
    identify the parties responsible for the torture. See Pun
    ishing Depictions of Animal Cruelty and the Federal
    Prisoner Health Care Co-Payment Act of 1999: Hearing
    before the Subcommittee on Crime of the House Commit
    tee on the Judiciary, 106th Cong., 1st Sess., p. 1 (1999)
    (hereinafter Hearing on Depictions of Animal Cruelty). In
    the rare instances in which it was possible to identify and
    find the perpetrators, they “often were able to successfully
    assert as a defense that the State could not prove its
    jurisdiction over the place where the act occurred or that
    the actions depicted took place within the time specified in
    12              UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    the State statute of limitations.” H. R. Rep., at 3; see also
    145 Cong. Rec. 25896 (Rep. Gallegly) (“[I]t is the prosecu
    tors from around this country, Federal prosecutors as well
    as State prosecutors, that have made an appeal to us for
    this”); Hearing on Depictions of Animal Cruelty 21 (“If the
    production of the video is not discovered during the actual
    filming, then prosecution for the offense is virtually im
    possible without a cooperative eyewitness to the filming or
    an undercover police operation”); id., at 34–35 (discussing
    example of case in which state prosecutor “had the defen
    dant telling us he produced these videos,” but where
    prosecution was not possible because the State could not
    prove where or when the tape was made).
       In light of the practical problems thwarting the prosecu
    tion of the creators of crush videos under state animal
    cruelty laws, Congress concluded that the only effective
    way of stopping the underlying criminal conduct was to
    prohibit the commercial exploitation of the videos of that
    conduct. And Congress’ strategy appears to have been
    vindicated. We are told that “[b]y 2007, sponsors of §48
    declared the crush video industry dead. Even overseas
    Websites shut down in the wake of §48. Now, after the
    Third Circuit’s decision [facially invalidating the statute],
    crush videos are already back online.” Humane Society
    Brief 5 (citations omitted).
                                2
       The First Amendment protects freedom of speech, but it
    most certainly does not protect violent criminal conduct,
    even if engaged in for expressive purposes. Crush videos
    present a highly unusual free speech issue because they
    are so closely linked with violent criminal conduct. The
    videos record the commission of violent criminal acts, and
    it appears that these crimes are committed for the sole
    purpose of creating the videos. In addition, as noted
    above, Congress was presented with compelling evidence
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)           13
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    that the only way of preventing these crimes was to target
    the sale of the videos. Under these circumstances, I can
    not believe that the First Amendment commands Con
    gress to step aside and allow the underlying crimes to
    continue.
       The most relevant of our prior decisions is Ferber, 
    458 U.S. 747
    , which concerned child pornography. The Court
    there held that child pornography is not protected speech,
    and I believe that Ferber’s reasoning dictates a similar
    conclusion here.
       In Ferber, an important factor—I would say the most
    important factor—was that child pornography involves the
    commission of a crime that inflicts severe personal injury
    to the “children who are made to engage in sexual conduct
    for commercial purposes.’ ” Id., at 753 (internal quotation
    marks omitted). The Ferber Court repeatedly described
    the production of child pornography as child “abuse,”
    “molestation,” or “exploitation.” See, e.g., id., at 749 (“In
    recent years, the exploitive use of children in the produc
    tion of pornography has become a serious national prob
    lem”); id., at 758, n. 9 (“Sexual molestation by adults is
    often involved in the production of child sexual perform
    ances”). As later noted in Ashcroft v. Free Speech Coali
    tion, 
    535 U.S. 234
    , 249 (2002), in Ferber “[t]he production
    of the work, not its content, was the target of the statute.”
    See also 535 U.S., at 250 (Ferber involved “speech that
    itself is the record of sexual abuse”).
       Second, Ferber emphasized the fact that these underly
    ing crimes could not be effectively combated without tar
    geting the distribution of child pornography. As the Court
    put it, “the distribution network for child pornography
    must be closed if the production of material which requires
    the sexual exploitation of children is to be effectively
    controlled.” 458 U. S., at 759. The Court added:
        “[T]here is no serious contention that the legislature
    14               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                          ALITO, J., dissenting
    
         was unjustified in believing that it is difficult, if not
         impossible, to halt the exploitation of children by pur
         suing only those who produce the photographs and
         movies. . . . The most expeditious if not the only prac
         tical method of law enforcement may be to dry up the
         market for this material by imposing severe criminal
         penalties on persons selling, advertising, or otherwise
         promoting the product.” Id., at 759–760.
    See also id., at 761 (“The advertising and selling of child
    pornography provide an economic motive for and are thus
    an integral part of the production of such materials”).
       Third, the Ferber Court noted that the value of child
    pornography “is exceedingly modest, if not de minimis,”
    and that any such value was “overwhelmingly out
    weigh[ed]” by “the evil to be restricted.” Id., at 762–763.
       All three of these characteristics are shared by §48, as
    applied to crush videos. First, the conduct depicted in
    crush videos is criminal in every State and the District of
    Columbia. Thus, any crush video made in this country
    records the actual commission of a criminal act that in
    flicts severe physical injury and excruciating pain and
    ultimately results in death. Those who record the under
    lying criminal acts are likely to be criminally culpable,
    either as aiders and abettors or conspirators. And in the
    tight and secretive market for these videos, some who sell
    the videos or possess them with the intent to make a profit
    may be similarly culpable. (For example, in some cases,
    crush videos were commissioned by purchasers who speci
    fied the details of the acts that they wanted to see per
    formed. See H. R. Rep., at 3; Hearing on Depictions of
    Animal Cruelty 27). To the extent that §48 reaches such
    persons, it surely does not violate the First Amendment.
       Second, the criminal acts shown in crush videos cannot
    be prevented without targeting the conduct prohibited by
    §48—the creation, sale, and possession for sale of depic
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)          15
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    tions of animal torture with the intention of realizing a
    commercial profit. The evidence presented to Congress
    posed a stark choice: Either ban the commercial exploita
    tion of crush videos or tolerate a continuation of the crimi
    nal acts that they record. Faced with this evidence, Con
    gress reasonably chose to target the lucrative crush video
    market.
       Finally, the harm caused by the underlying crimes
    vastly outweighs any minimal value that the depictions
    might conceivably be thought to possess. Section 48
    reaches only the actual recording of acts of animal torture;
    the statute does not apply to verbal descriptions or to
    simulations. And, unlike the child pornography statute in
    Ferber or its federal counterpart, 
    18 U.S. C
    . §2252, §48(b)
    provides an exception for depictions having any “serious
    religious, political, scientific, educational, journalistic,
    historical, or artistic value.”
       It must be acknowledged that §48 differs from a child
    pornography law in an important respect: preventing the
    abuse of children is certainly much more important than
    preventing the torture of the animals used in crush videos.
    It was largely for this reason that the Court of Appeals
    concluded that Ferber did not support the constitutionality
    of §48. 
    533 F. 3d
    , at 228 (“Preventing cruelty to animals,
    although an exceedingly worthy goal, simply does not
    implicate interests of the same magnitude as protecting
    children from physical and psychological harm”). But
    while protecting children is unquestionably more impor
    tant than protecting animals, the Government also has a
    compelling interest in preventing the torture depicted in
    crush videos.
       The animals used in crush videos are living creatures
    that experience excruciating pain. Our society has long
    banned such cruelty, which is illegal throughout the coun
    try. In Ferber, the Court noted that “virtually all of the
    States and the United States have passed legislation
    16                  UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                              ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    proscribing the production of or otherwise combating ‘child
    pornography,’ ” and the Court declined to “second-guess
    [that] legislative judgment.”6 458 U. S., at 758. Here,
    likewise, the Court of Appeals erred in second-guessing
    the legislative judgment about the importance of prevent
    ing cruelty to animals.
       Section 48’s ban on trafficking in crush videos also helps
    to enforce the criminal laws and to ensure that criminals
    do not profit from their crimes. See 145 Cong. Rec. 25897
    (Oct. 19, 1999) (Rep. Gallegly) (“The state has an interest
    in enforcing its existing laws. Right now, the laws are not
    only being violated, but people are making huge profits
    from promoting the violations”); id., at 10685 (May 24,
    1999) (Rep. Gallegly) (explaining that he introduced the
    House version of the bill because “criminals should not
    profit from [their] illegal acts”). We have already judged
    that taking the profit out of crime is a compelling interest.
    See Simon & Schuster, Inc. v. Members of N. Y. State
    Crime Victims Bd., 
    502 U.S. 105
    , 119 (1991).
       In short, Ferber is the case that sheds the most light on
    the constitutionality of Congress’ effort to halt the produc
    tion of crush videos. Applying the principles set forth in
    Ferber, I would hold that crush videos are not protected by
    the First Amendment.
                                   B
         Application of the Ferber framework also supports the
    ——————
       6 In other cases, we have regarded evidence of a national consensus as
    
    proof that a particular government interest is compelling. See Simon &
    Schuster, Inc. v. Members of N. Y. State Crime Victims Bd., 
    502 U.S. 105
    , 118 (1991) (State’s compelling interest “in ensuring that victims of
    crime are compensated by those who harm them” evidenced by fact that
    “[e]very State has a body of tort law serving exactly this interest”);
    Roberts v. United States Jaycees, 
    468 U.S. 609
    , 624–625 (1984) (citing
    state laws prohibiting discrimination in public accommodations as
    evidence of the compelling governmental interest in ensuring equal
    access).
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)           17
    
                         ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    constitutionality of §48 as applied to depictions of brutal
    animal fights. (For convenience, I will focus on videos of
    dogfights, which appear to be the most common type of
    animal fight videos.)
       First, such depictions, like crush videos, record the
    actual commission of a crime involving deadly violence.
    Dogfights are illegal in every State and the District of
    Columbia, Brief for United States 26–27, and n. 8 (citing
    statutes), and under federal law constitute a felony pun
    ishable by imprisonment for up to five years, 
    7 U.S. C
    .
    §2156 et seq. (2006 ed. and Supp. II), 
    18 U.S. C
    . §49 (2006
    ed., Supp. II).
       Second, Congress had an ample basis for concluding
    that the crimes depicted in these videos cannot be effec
    tively controlled without targeting the videos. Like crush
    videos and child pornography, dogfight videos are very
    often produced as part of a “low-profile, clandestine indus
    try,” and “the need to market the resulting products re
    quires a visible apparatus of distribution.” Ferber, 458
    U. S., at 760. In such circumstances, Congress had rea
    sonable grounds for concluding that it would be “difficult,
    if not impossible, to halt” the underlying exploitation of
    dogs by pursuing only those who stage the fights. Id., at
    759–760; see 
    533 F. 3d
    , at 246 (Cowen, J., dissenting)
    (citing evidence establishing “the existence of a lucrative
    market for depictions of animal cruelty,” including videos
    of dogfights, “which in turn provides a powerful incentive
    to individuals to create [such] videos”).
       The commercial trade in videos of dogfights is “an inte
    gral part of the production of such materials,” Ferber,
    supra, at 761.       As the Humane Society explains,
    “[v]ideotapes memorializing dogfights are integral to the
    success of this criminal industry” for a variety of reasons.
    Humane Society Brief 5. For one thing, some dogfighting
    videos are made “solely for the purpose of selling the video
    (and not for a live audience).” Id., at 9. In addition, those
    18               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                          ALITO, J., dissenting
    
    who stage dogfights profit not just from the sale of the
    videos themselves, but from the gambling revenue they
    take in from the fights; the videos “encourage [such] gam
    bling activity because they allow those reluctant to attend
    actual fights for fear of prosecution to still bet on the
    outcome.” Ibid.; accord, Brief for Center on the Admini
    stration of Criminal Law as Amicus Curiae 12 (“Selling
    videos of dogfights effectively abets the underlying crimes
    by providing a market for dogfighting while allowing
    actual dogfights to remain underground”); ibid. (“These
    videos are part of a ‘lucrative market’ where videos are
    produced by a ‘bare-boned, clandestine staff’ in order to
    permit the actual location of dogfights and the perpetra
    tors of these underlying criminal activities to go unde
    tected” (citations omitted)). Moreover, “[v]ideo documen
    tation is vital to the criminal enterprise because it
    provides proof of a dog’s fighting prowess—proof de
    manded by potential buyers and critical to the under
    ground market.” Humane Society Brief 9. Such re
    cordings may also serve as “ ‘training’ videos for other fight
    organizers.” Ibid. In short, because videos depicting live
    dogfights are essential to the success of the criminal dog
    fighting subculture, the commercial sale of such videos
    helps to fuel the market for, and thus to perpetuate the
    perpetration of, the criminal conduct depicted in them.
       Third, depictions of dogfights that fall within §48’s reach
    have by definition no appreciable social value. As noted,
    §48(b) exempts depictions having any appreciable social
    value, and thus the mere inclusion of a depiction of a live
    fight in a larger work that aims at communicating an idea
    or a message with a modicum of social value would not run
    afoul of the statute.
       Finally, the harm caused by the underlying criminal
    acts greatly outweighs any trifling value that the depic
    tions might be thought to possess. As the Humane Society
    explains:
                      Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)           19
    
                          ALITO, J., dissenting
    
        “The abused dogs used in fights endure physical tor
        ture and emotional manipulation throughout their
        lives to predispose them to violence; common tactics
        include feeding the animals hot peppers and gunpow
        der, prodding them with sticks, and electrocution.
        Dogs are conditioned never to give up a fight, even if
        they will be gravely hurt or killed. As a result, dog
        fights inflict horrific injuries on the participating
        animals, including lacerations, ripped ears, puncture
        wounds and broken bones. Losing dogs are routinely
        refused treatment, beaten further as ‘punishment’ for
        the loss, and executed by drowning, hanging, or incin
        eration.” Id., at 5–6 (footnotes omitted).
       For these dogs, unlike the animals killed in crush vid
    eos, the suffering lasts for years rather than minutes. As
    with crush videos, moreover, the statutory ban on com
    merce in dogfighting videos is also supported by compel
    ling governmental interests in effectively enforcing the
    Nation’s criminal laws and preventing criminals from
    profiting from their illegal activities. See Ferber, supra, at
    757–758; Simon & Schuster, 502 U. S., at 119.
       In sum, §48 may validly be applied to at least two broad
    real-world categories of expression covered by the statute:
    crush videos and dogfighting videos. Thus, the statute has
    a substantial core of constitutionally permissible applica
    tions. Moreover, for the reasons set forth above, the re
    cord does not show that §48, properly interpreted, bans a
    substantial amount of protected speech in absolute terms.
    A fortiori, respondent has not met his burden of demon
    strating that any impermissible applications of the statute
    are “substantial” in relation to its “plainly legitimate
    sweep.” Williams, 553 U. S., at 292. Accordingly, I would
    reject respondent’s claim that §48 is facially unconstitu
    tional under the overbreadth doctrine.
    20                 UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                            ALITO, J., dissenting
    
                               *    *     *
         For these reasons, I respectfully dissent.
                     Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                 21
    
                    Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                        ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
    
                            APPENDIX
      As the following chart makes clear, virtually all state
    laws prohibiting animal cruelty either expressly define
    the term “animal” to exclude wildlife or else specifically
    exempt lawful hunting activities.
    
    Alaska        Alaska Stat. §11.61.140(c)(4) (2008) (“It is a
                  defense to a prosecution under this section that
                  the conduct of the defendant . . . was necessarily
                  incidental to lawful fishing, hunting or trapping
                  activities”)
    Arizona       Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§13–2910(C)(1), (3) (West
                  Supp. 2009) (“This section does not prohibit or
                  restrict . . . [t]he taking of wildlife or other
                  activities permitted by or pursuant to title 17
                  . . . [or] [a]ctivities regulated by the Arizona
                  game and fish department or the Arizona de
                  partment of agriculture”)
    Arkansas      Ark. Code Ann. §5–62–105(a) (Supp. 2009)
                  (“This subchapter does not prohibit any of the
                  following activities: . . . (9) Engaging in the
                  taking of game or fish through hunting, trap
                  ping, or fishing, or engaging in any other activ
                  ity authorized by Arkansas Constitution,
                  Amendment 35, by §15–41–101 et seq., or by
                  any Arkansas State Game and Fish Commission
                  regulation promulgated under either Arkansas
                  Constitution, Amendment 35, or statute”)
    California    Cal. Penal Code Ann. §599c (West 1999) (“No
                  part of this title shall be construed as interfer
                  ing with any of the laws of this state known as
                  the ‘game laws,’ . . . or to interfere with the right
                  to kill all animals used for food”)
    Colorado      Colo. Rev. Stat. Ann. §18–9–201.5(2) (2009) (“In
                  case of any conflict between this part 2 [prohib
                  iting cruelty to animals] or section 35–43–126,
                  [Colo. Rev. Stat.], and the wildlife statutes of
    22             UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                   Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                       ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                  the state, said wildlife statutes shall control”),
                  §18–9–202(3) (“Nothing in this part 2 shall be
                  construed to amend or in any manner change
                  the authority of the wildlife commission, as
                  established in title 33, [Colo. Rev. Stat.], or to
                  prohibit any conduct therein authorized or
                  permitted”)
    Connecticut   Conn. Gen. Stat. §53–247(b) (2009) (“Any person
                  who maliciously and intentionally maims,
                  mutilates, tortures, wounds or kills an animal
                  shall be fined not more than five thousand
                  dollars or imprisoned not more than five years
                  or both. The provisions of this subsection shall
                  not apply to . . . any person . . . while lawfully
                  engaged in the taking of wildlife”)
    Delaware      Del. Code Ann., Tit. 11, §1325(f) (2007) (“This
                  section shall not apply to the lawful hunting or
                  trapping of animals as provided by law”)
    Florida       Fla. Stat. §828.122(9)(b) (2007) (“This section
                  shall not apply to . . . [a]ny person using animals
                  to pursue or take wildlife or to participate in any
                  hunting regulated or subject to being regulated
                  by the rules and regulations of the Fish and
                  Wildlife Conservation Commission”)
    Georgia       Ga. Code Ann. §16–12–4(e) (2007) (“The provi
                  sions of this Code section shall not be construed
                  as prohibiting conduct which is otherwise per
                  mitted under the laws of this state or of the
                  United States, including, but not limited to . . .
                  hunting, trapping, fishing, [or] wildlife man
                  agement”)
    Hawaii        Haw. Rev. Stat. §711–1108.5(1) (2008 Cum.
                  Supp.) (“A person commits the offense of cruelty
                  to animals in the first degree if the person
                  intentionally or knowingly tortures, mutilates,
                  or poisons or causes the torture, mutilation, or
                  poisoning of any pet animal or equine animal
                  resulting in serious bodily injury or death of the
                  pet animal or equine animal”)
                 Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                  23
    
                Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                    ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
    Idaho      Idaho Code §25–3515 (Lexis 2000) (“No part of
               this chapter shall be construed as interfering
               with, negating or preempting any of the laws or
               rules of the department of fish and game of this
               state . . . or to interfere with the right to kill,
               slaughter, bag or take all animals used for food”)
    Illinois   Ill. Comp. Stat., ch. 510, §70/13 (West 2006) (“In
               case of any alleged conflict between this Act . . .
               and the ‘Wildlife Code of Illinois’ or ‘An Act to
               define and require the use of humane methods
               in the handling, preparation for slaughter, and
               slaughter of livestock for meat or meat products
               to be offered for sale’, . . . the provisions of those
               Acts shall prevail”), §70/3.03(b)(1) (“For the
               purposes of this Section, ‘animal torture’ does
               not include any death, harm, or injury caused to
               any animal by . . . any hunting, fishing, trap
               ping, or other activity allowed under the Wild
               life Code, the Wildlife Habitat Management
               Areas Act, or the Fish and Aquatic Life Code”
               (footnotes omitted))
    Indiana    Ind. Code §35–46–3–5(a) (West 2004) (subject to
               certain exceptions not relevant here, “this
               chapter [prohibiting “Offenses Relating to
               Animals”] does not apply to . . . [f]ishing, hunt
               ing, trapping, or other conduct authorized under
               [Ind. Code §]14–22”)
    Iowa       Iowa Code §717B.2(5) (2009) (“This section
               [banning “animal abuse”] shall not apply to . . .
               [a] person taking, hunting, trapping, or fishing
               for a wild animal as provided in chapter 481A”),
               §717B.3A(2)(e) (“This section [banning “animal
               torture”] shall not apply to . . . [a] person taking,
               hunting, trapping, or fishing for a wild animal
               as provided in chapter 481A”)
    Kansas     Kan. Stat. Ann. §21–4310(b)(3) (2007) (“The
               provisions of this section shall not apply to . . .
               killing, attempting to kill, trapping, catching or
               taking of any animal in accordance with the
    24           UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                 Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                     ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                provisions of chapter 32 [Wildlife, Parks and
                Recreation] or chapter 47 [Livestock and Do
                mestic Animals] of the Kansas Statutes Anno
                tated”)
    Kentucky    Ky. Rev. Stat. Ann. §§525.130(2)(a), (e) (Lexis
                2008) (“Nothing in this section shall apply to the
                killing of animals . . . [p]ursuant to a license to
                hunt, fish, or trap . . . [or] [f]or purposes relating
                to sporting activities”), §525.130(3) (“Activities
                of animals engaged in hunting, field trials, dog
                training other than training a dog to fight for
                pleasure or profit, and other activities author
                ized either by a hunting license or by the De
                partment of Fish and Wildlife shall not consti
                tute a violation of this section”)
    Louisiana   La. Rev. Stat. Ann. §14:102.1(C)(1) (West Supp.
                2010) (“This Section shall not apply to . . . [t]he
                lawful hunting or trapping of wildlife as pro
                vided by law”)
    Maine       Me. Rev. Stat. Ann., Tit. 17, §1031(1)(G) (West
                Supp. 2009) (providing that hunting and trap
                ping an animal is not a form of prohibited
                animal cruelty if “permitted pursuant to” parts
                of state code regulating the shooting of large
                game, inland fisheries, and wildlife)
    Maryland    Md. Crim. Law Code Ann. §10–603(3) (Lexis
                2002) (“Sections 10–601 through 10–608 of this
                subtitle do not apply to . . . an activity that may
                cause unavoidable physical pain to an animal,
                including . . . hunting, if the person performing
                the activity uses the most humane method
                reasonably available”)
    Michigan    Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. §§750.50(11)(a), (b)
                (West Supp. 2009) (“This section does not pro
                hibit the lawful killing or other use of an ani
                mal, including . . . [f]ishing . . . [h]unting, [or]
                trapping [as regulated by state law]”),
                §750.50b(9)(a), (b) (“This section does not pro
                hibit the lawful killing or other use of an ani
                   Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                  25
    
                  Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                      ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                 mal, including . . . [f]ishing . . . [h]unting, [or]
                 trapping [as regulated by state law]”)
    Missouri     Mo. Rev. Stat. §578.007(3) (2000) (“The provi
                 sions of sections 578.005 to 578.023 shall not
                 apply to . . . [h]unting, fishing, or trapping as
                 allowed by” state law)
    Montana      Mont. Code Ann. §45–8–211(4)(d) (2009) (“This
                 section does not prohibit . . . lawful fishing,
                 hunting, and trapping activities”)
    Nebraska     Neb. Rev. Stat. §28–1013(4) (2008) (exempting
                 “[c]ommonly accepted practices of hunting,
                 fishing, or trapping”)
    Nevada       Nev. Rev. Stat. §§574.200(1), (3) (2007) (provi
                 sions of Nevada law banning animal cruelty “do
                 not . . . [i]nterfere with any of the fish and game
                 laws . . . [or] the right to kill all animals and
                 fowl used for food”)
    New          N. H. Rev. Stat. Ann. §644:8(II) (West Supp.
    Hampshire    2009) (“In this section, ‘animal’ means a domes
                 tic animal, a household pet or a wild animal in
                 captivity”)
    New Jersey   N. J. Stat. Ann. §4:22–16(c) (West 1998) (“Noth
                 ing contained in this article shall be construed
                 to prohibit or interfere with . . . [t]he shooting or
                 taking of game or game fish in such manner and
                 at such times as is allowed or provided by the
                 laws of this State”)
    New Mexico   N. M. Stat. Ann. §30–18–1(I)(1) (Supp. 2009)
                 (“The provisions of this section do not apply to
                 . . . fishing, hunting, falconry, taking and trap
                 ping”)
    New York     N. Y. Agric. & Mkts. Law Ann. §353–a(2) (West
                 2004) (“Nothing contained in this section shall
                 be construed to prohibit or interfere in any way
                 with anyone lawfully engaged in hunting, trap
                 ping, or fishing”)
    North        N. C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §14–360(c)(1) (Lexis 2009)
    Carolina     (“[T]his section shall not apply to . . . [t]he
                 lawful taking of animals under the jurisdiction
    26              UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                    Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                        ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                   and regulation of the Wildlife Resources Com
                   mission . . .”)
    North Dakota   N. D. Cent. Code Ann. §36–21.1–01(5)(a) (Lexis
                   Supp. 2009) (“ ‘Cruelty’ or ‘torture’ . . . does not
                   include . . . [a]ny activity that requires a license
                   or permit under chapter 20.1–03 [which governs
                   gaming and other licenses]”)
    Oregon         Ore. Rev. Stat. §167.335 (2007) (“Unless gross
                   negligence can be shown, the provisions of
                   [certain statutes prohibiting animal cruelty] do
                   not apply to . . . (7) [l]awful fishing, hunting and
                   trapping activities”)
    Pennsylvania   18 Pa. Cons. Stat. §5511(a)(3)(ii) (2008) (“This
                   subsection [banning killing, maiming, or poison
                   ing of domestic animals or zoo animals] shall not
                   apply to . . . the killing of any animal or fowl
                   pursuant to . . . The Game Law”), §5511(c)(1) (“A
                   person commits an offense if he wantonly or
                   cruelly illtreats, overloads, beats, otherwise
                   abuses any animal, or neglects any animal as to
                   which he has a duty of care”)
    Rhode Island   R. I. Gen. Laws §4–1–3(a) (Lexis 1998) (prohibit
                   ing “[e]very owner, possessor, or person having
                   the charge or custody of any animal” from
                   engaging in certain acts of unnecessary cruelty),
                   §§4–1–5(a), (b) (prohibiting only “[m]alicious”
                   injury to or killing of animals and further pro
                   viding that “[t]his section shall not apply to
                   licensed hunters during hunting season or a
                   licensed business killing animals for human
                   consumption”)
    South          S. C. Code Ann. §47–1–40(C) (Supp. 2009) (“This
    Carolina       section does not apply to . . . activity authorized
                   by Title 50 [consisting of laws on Fish, Game,
                   and Watercraft]”)
    South Dakota   S. D. Codified Laws §40–1–17 (2004) (“The acts
                   and conduct of persons who are lawfully en
                   gaged in any of the activities authorized by Title
                   41 [Game, Fish, Parks and Forestry] . . . and
                  Cite as: 559 U. S. ____ (2010)                 27
    
                 Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                     ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                persons who properly kill any animal used for
                food and sport hunting, trapping, and fishing as
                authorized by the South Dakota Department of
                Game, Fish and Parks, are exempt from the
                provisions of this chapter”)
    Tennessee   Tenn. Code Ann. §39–14–201(1) (2010 Supp.)
                (“ ‘Animal’ means a domesticated living creature
                or a wild creature previously captured”), §39–
                14–201(4) (“[N]othing in this part shall be
                construed as prohibiting the shooting of birds or
                game for the purpose of human food or the use
                of animate targets by incorporated gun clubs”)
    Texas       Tex. Penal Code Ann. §42.092(a)(2) (West Supp.
                2009) (“ ‘Animal’ means a domesticated living
                creature, including any stray or feral cat or dog,
                and a wild living creature previously captured.
                The term does not include an uncaptured wild
                living creature or a livestock animal”),
                §42.092(f)(1)(A) (“It is an exception to the appli
                cation of this section that the conduct engaged
                in by the actor is a generally accepted and
                otherwise lawful . . . form of conduct occurring
                solely for the purpose of or in support of . . .
                fishing, hunting, or trapping”)
    Utah        Utah Code Ann. §76–9–301(1)(b)(ii)(D) (Lexis
                2008) (“ ‘Animal’ does not include . . . wildlife, as
                defined in Section 23–13–2, including protected
                and unprotected wildlife, if the conduct toward
                the wildlife is in accordance with lawful hunt
                ing, fishing, or trapping practices or other lawful
                practices”), §76–9–301(9)(C) (“This section does
                not affect or prohibit . . . the lawful hunting of,
                fishing for, or trapping of, wildlife”)
    Vermont     Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 13, §351b(1) (2009) (“This
                subchapter shall not apply to . . . activities
                regulated by the department of fish and wildlife
                pursuant to Part 4 of Title 10”)
    Virginia    Va. Code Ann. §3.2–6570D (Lexis 2008) (“This
                section shall not prohibit authorized wildlife
    28               UNITED STATES v. STEVENS
    
                     Appendix to J., dissenting , J.
                         ALITO, opinion of ALITO
    
                    management activities or hunting, fishing or
                    trapping [as regulated by state law]”)
    Washington      Wash. Rev. Code §16.52.180 (2008) (“No part of
                    this chapter shall be deemed to interfere with
                    any of the laws of this state known as the ‘game
                    laws’ . . . or to interfere with the right to kill
                    animals to be used for food”)
    West Virginia   W. Va. Code Ann. §61–8–19(f) (Lexis Supp.
                    2009) (“The provisions of this section do not
                    apply to lawful acts of hunting, fishing, [or]
                    trapping”)
    Wisconsin       Wis. Stat. §951.015(1) (2007–2008) (“This chap
                    ter may not be interpreted as controverting any
                    law regulating wild animals that are subject to
                    regulation under ch. 169 [regulating, among
                    other things, hunting], [or] the taking of wild
                    animals”)
    Wyoming         Wyo. Stat. Ann. §6–3–203(m)(iv) (2009) (“Noth
                    ing in subsection (a), (b) or (n) of this section
                    shall be construed to prohibit . . . [t]he hunting,
                    capture or destruction of any predatory animal
                    or other wildlife in any manner not otherwise
                    prohibited by law”)
    

Document Info

DocketNumber: 08-769

Citation Numbers: 559 U.S. 460, 130 S. Ct. 1577, 176 L. Ed. 2d 435, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 3478

Filed Date: 4/20/2010

Precedential Status: Precedential

Modified Date: 3/31/2018

Authorities (40)

United States v. Detroit Timber & Lumber Co. , 200 U.S. 321 ( 1906 )

Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire , 315 U.S. 568 ( 1942 )

Winters v. New York , 333 U.S. 507 ( 1948 )

Giboney v. Empire Storage & Ice Co. , 336 U.S. 490 ( 1949 )

Beauharnais v. Illinois , 343 U.S. 250 ( 1952 )

Roth v. United States , 354 U.S. 476 ( 1957 )

Brandenburg v. Ohio , 395 U.S. 444 ( 1969 )

Cohen v. California , 403 U.S. 15 ( 1971 )

Kois v. Wisconsin , 408 U.S. 229 ( 1972 )

Miller v. California , 413 U.S. 15 ( 1973 )

Broadrick v. Oklahoma , 413 U.S. 601 ( 1973 )

Va. Pharmacy Bd. v. Va. Consumer Council , 425 U.S. 748 ( 1976 )

Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Assn. , 436 U.S. 447 ( 1978 )

New York v. Ferber , 458 U.S. 747 ( 1982 )

Members of City Council of Los Angeles v. Taxpayers for ... , 466 U.S. 789 ( 1984 )

Roberts v. United States Jaycees , 468 U.S. 609 ( 1984 )

Posadas De Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Co. of PR , 478 U.S. 328 ( 1986 )

United States v. Salerno , 481 U.S. 739 ( 1987 )

Houston v. Hill , 482 U.S. 451 ( 1987 )

Board of Airport Comm'rs of Los Angeles v. Jews for Jesus, ... , 482 U.S. 569 ( 1987 )

View All Authorities »

Cited By (393)

United States v. Muhammad , 604 F.3d 1022 ( 2010 )

Adams v. Zelotes ( 2010 )

Rodriguez v. MARICOPA CTY. COMMUNITY COLLEGE DIST. , 605 F.3d 703 ( 2010 )

Comite De Jornaleros De Redondo v. Redondo Beach , 607 F.3d 1178 ( 2010 )

Siefert v. Alexander , 608 F.3d 974 ( 2010 )

United States v. Marcavage , 609 F.3d 264 ( 2010 )

Holder v. Humanitarian Law Project , 561 U.S. 1 ( 2010 )

Bilski v. Kappos ( 2010 )

Bilski v. Kappos , 561 U.S. 593 ( 2010 )

General Elec. Co. v. Jackson , 610 F.3d 110 ( 2010 )

Carey v. Wolnitzek , 614 F.3d 189 ( 2010 )

United States v. Skoien , 614 F.3d 638 ( 2010 )

Doe v. Reed , 561 U.S. 186 ( 2010 )

Stilp v. Contino , 613 F.3d 405 ( 2010 )

Ostergren v. Cuccinelli ( 2010 )

Sonnier v. Crain , 613 F.3d 436 ( 2010 )

United States v. Marzzarella , 614 F.3d 85 ( 2010 )

Ostergren v. Cuccinelli ( 2010 )

IMS Health, Inc. v. Rowe ( 2010 )

United States v. Alvarez , 617 F.3d 1198 ( 2010 )

View All Citing Opinions »