Cages, Clinics, and Consequences: The Chilling Problems of Controlling Special Interest Extremism
46 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2009
Date Written: March 3, 2008
Part I of this Comment provides a background on the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act ('AETA') from its origins in the bioresearch industry to its adoption as law. Part II compares the crimes of militant animal protectionists with those of militant abortion opponents. Part III then compares AETA and the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act ("FACE"), analyzing AETA’s constitutionality using as a model decisions upholding FACE. Part III concludes that AETA does not violate the First Amendment. Part IV argues that since AETA is likely to withstand First Amendment scrutiny, the law legitimizes an inconsistent use of the terrorism label that will hinder protected protest activity. Finally, Part V suggests reasons that this chilling effect is not benign, including societal consequences of constraining protest and economic consequences for protested enterprises.
Keywords: Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act, First Amendment, constitutional law
JEL Classification: A13, D21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation