Supreme Court Moot

September 23, 2009Duke Law News

October 6, 2009
12:15 PM
Room 3041
Duke Law School


PANEL OF JUDGES
Neil Siegel
Professor of Law and Political Science
moderator

Donald Ayer
Senior Lecturing Fellow
and
Partner
Jones Day
Washington, DC

Sara Beale
Charles L.B. Lowndes Professor of Law

Stuart Benjamin
Douglas B. Maggs Professor of Law
Associate Dean for Research

Joseph Blocher
Assistant Professor of Law

COUNSEL OF RECORD FOR RESPONDENT
Patricia A. Millett
Partner
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP
Washington, DC

United States v. Stevens will consider whether a federal law passed by Congress in 1999 is unconstitutional under the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment. The respondent, Robert Stevens, was the first to be convicted under 18 U.S.C. Section 48 for “knowingly selling depictions of animal cruelty with the intention of placing those depictions in interstate commerce for commercial gain” when he sold graphic videos of illegal dogfighting involving pit bulls. A federal appeals court overturned his conviction, agreeing with Stevens that the animal cruelty law violated his First Amendment right to free speech. Is 18 U.S.C. Section 48 facially invalid?

Patricia Millett co-heads Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice and has argued 26 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court. Please join her as she argues the case for the Respondent in United States v. Stevens before several Duke Law professors.