Garrett seems to think the group has more bark than bite, and he resents being compared to the disgraced Atlanta Falcons quarterback.
"Michael Vick has committed egregious acts towards animals and should get punished for his crimes," Garrett told us in an e-mail through his spokeswoman, adding: "My previous vote in regards to animal fighting was to keep federal law enforcement from taking over state crimes. Prosecutors and officers are already stretched thin. For instance, over the last 10 years, federal courts have dealt with a 172% increase in sexual offence cases, largely due to increases in prosecutions for sexually explicit materials such as child pornography. With almost 70,000 victims and families waiting for justice across the country (over 1,000 in New Jersey alone), it doesn't seem reasonable to prolong their suffering by creating a law that would make actions that are already illegal and prosecutable under state laws, a federal offense."
On this one, Garrett's reinterpreting his Constitutional obligations as a member of Congress. Among the powers relegated to Congress comes this from Article I, Section 8:
To regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian tribes;
The Bill stiffened the penalties for the INTERSTATE transport of dogs, and banned INTERSTATE transport of fight specific items (cockfighting blades, rape stands, etc.). No, this was definitely in the Federal jurisdiction from the beginning.
Garrett may want to rethink his lack of defense before election time next year. Otherwise, the Humane Society who used the end of the Op-Ed to give him a chance to redeem himself might bear their teeth.