Why BSL is Unconstitutional


Breed-specific legislation (BSL) — or legislation or ordinances that single out specific breeds of dog for banning or restrictions — is unconstitutional because it violates the 14th amendment of the constitution (commonly referred to as citizens’ civil liberties), particularly the equal protection and due process clauses. The 14th amendment states:

“No State shall…deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

Our dogs are our property and they cannot be taken away from us legally unless it can be proven that they constitute a danger to the general public.  Bulldog breeds, breeds most often singled out for breed-specific legislation, have not been proven to be inherently any more dangerous than any other breeds of dog despite what the media et al would have you believe. 

Because it has not been scientifically proven that any one breed is more dangerous than another, BSL infringes on citizens’ equal protection rights. The equal protection clause of the 14th amendment states that certain similarly-circumstanced individuals cannot be deprived of their property, in this case dogs, while other similarly-circumstanced individuals are not unless it can be demonstrated that there is a rational basis, like public safety, for doing so. Because it has not been proven that bulldog breeds (or any other breed) are any more inherently dangerous than other breeds, banning or restricting them would not make the public safer and it would therefore be a violation of the equal protection clause to deprive bulldog owners of their dogs.

Further, because it is at this time difficult to definitively prove breed heredity, BSL also infringes on citizens’ due process rights. Every citizen has a right under the due process clause to attempt to affect the outcome of a municipal or state-imposed deprivation of property (in this case, citizens’ dogs). When BSL is imposed and the owner is penalized yet it cannot be determined that the dog is indeed the banned or restricted breed in question, the dog owner’s due process rights are infringed upon.

Dog owners should know their rights and have a better understanding of why BSL is an infringement of them.

3 responses to “Why BSL is Unconstitutional”

  1. […] If so, you can start by fighting this horrific ordinance. If you live in Louisville, find your councilman or woman by clicking here. And even if you don’t live in Louisville, let them know what you think of this ordinance and its negation of so many of our constitutional rights (find out which amendments of the constitution are being negated by clicking here for breed-specific legislation and here for mandatory microchipping and strictured spay/neuter) by sending your respectful letters here (and just so you know before you vote tomorrow, Neville Blackmore, candidate for Louisville Metro Council 7 is for breed-specific legislation). […]

  2. […] So, again, here we have a person who is the president of the city council and he is admitting that the breed ban he supports is illegal since if there are friendly “pitbulls” as Salvatore has admitted, then any ban of bully breeds will be a violation of equal protection rights afforded citizens under the 14th amendment, which states that some similarly-circumstanced citizens (bully breed owners) cannot be deprived of their property (their dogs) unless it can be proven that the breed is inherently vicious. But Salvatore just acknowledged there are “pitbulls” that are not vicious, and therefore any BSL would violate equal protection rights, and would be illegal. […]

  3. […] And when the Houston Chronicle prints what amounts to an op-ed (”Ban on Pitbulls? You can’t in Texas“) that slanders innocent bully breeds, shows the picture of a Labrador or shepherd insinuating that it is a “pitbull,” and highlights the seeming ease with which a town in Colorado passed a “pitbull” ban last month, we can smell the conspiracy in the air. And really why should the bought-off media, the animal rights groups, or politicians change tack when it has been so easy, in some places, to negate 14th amendment rights to life, liberty, and property, to equal protection, and due process under the law?? And what is local and state government’s vehicle for taking away inalienable rights? Hysteria and the slander of innocent breeds of dog by the local media, which, you have to admit is pretty base. Indeed, the time of the newspaper as watchdog is long gone. It’s more accurate to say that the media is now complicit in the conspiracies they ought to be exposing. […]

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