Humane Society vs. free speech

The Humane Society of the U.S. says it plans to sue under a District of Columbia consumer protection statute because the online retailer has rejected its demands to stop selling two magazines aimed at cockfighting enthusiasts, The Gamecock and The Feathered Warrior. (They seem to have overlooked Grit and Steel.) The Society claims that a federal law prohibiting the use of the U.S. mails for the promotion of cockfighting events renders the magazines illegal, a position that the U.S. Postal Service itself has apparently not chosen to endorse. (KTHV, Jul. 18; Elizabeth M. Gillespie, “Humane Society urges to quit selling cockfighting mags”, AP/Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Jul. 18; Nobody’s Business, Jul. 24).


  • What am I missing here? Amazon is selling subscriptions. The publisher mails the magazines. Is Amazon the magazine publisher?

  • Your missing the fact that people who to try to get around 1st Amendment protections against abridging the freedom speech and the press by simply making it illegal to send the speech through the mail will likely not worry too much about technicalities.

  • Well, is the USPS not convinced, or are they looking the other way? Because from the sound of it, it sounds like this does indeed violate the statute — what could be more of a promotion than a magazine? Of course the statute is probably unconstitional. Right?