[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/10/06/scotus.dogfighting/art.dog.fight.amateur.vid.jpg caption="Selling depictions of animal cruelty like this amateur dogfighting video may be illegal under a 1999 statute."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Supreme Court voiced deep free speech concerns Tuesday about a law designed to stop the sale and marketing of videos showing dog fights and other acts of animal cruelty.
The justices heard an hour of lively debate about the scope and intent of the decade-old statute that supporters say has done much to stop the spread of profiting from the torture and abuse of animals.
But media groups and the National Rifle Association were among those who say the law is overly broad.
"It's not up to the government to decide what are people's worst instincts," said Justice Antonin Scalia. "One can contemplate a lot of other areas, where government could say: You are appealing to people's worst instincts, and, therefore, movies cannot be made" showing dramatized depictions of animals being abused, for example.