How Should The Supreme Court Decide What Constitutes Obscenity?

Which Supreme Court case ruled on the criteria used to define obscenity?

By David L.

Hudson Jr.

The Miller Test is the primary legal test for determining whether expression constitutes obscenity.

It is named after the U.S.

Supreme Court’s decision in Miller v.

California (1973)..

What is obscene content?

For content to be ruled obscene, it must meet a three-pronged test established by the Supreme Court: It must appeal to an average person’s prurient interest; depict or describe sexual conduct in a “patently offensive” way; and, taken as a whole, lack serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

What is the meaning of obscenity?

noun, plural ob·scen·i·ties for 2, 3. the character or quality of being obscene; indecency; lewdness. something obscene, as a picture or story. an obscene word or expression, especially when used as an invective.

What are the six exceptions to expression?

Contents1 Incitement. 1.1 Incitement to suicide.2 False statements of fact.3 Obscenity.4 Child pornography.5 Fighting words.6 Threatening the President of the United States.7 Speech owned by others.8 Commercial speech.More items…

How does the Supreme Court define obscenity?

1) A thing must be prurient in nature. 2) A thing must be completely devoid of scientific, political, educational, or social value. 3) A thing must violate the local community standards.

What is the court’s position on obscenity?

Does freedom of speech include the right to disseminate or view obscene material? The Supreme Court’s consistent position has been that “obscenity is not within the area of constitutionally protected speech or press”Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957)).

Why is obscenity so hard to define?

Obscenity should not be defined by a set of guidelines, because each individual views the content of material differently. Such rulings are still applicable even thirty or fifty years later, as is shown in the 2004 case of Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union.

Why has the court struggled to define obscenity?

Although the Court has struggled to define what constitutes obscenity, it has upheld restrictions on materials that “to the average person applying contemporary community standards” depict offensive or sexual conduct and lack literary or artistic merit.

What is obscene language?

Obscene describes something that is morally offensive in a sexual way. … Obscene material, language, and jokes are considered taboo in polite society. Obscene can also be used to describe something repulsive — like when your friend ate an obscene number of snails at the Bastille Day bash.

What is the difference between obscenity and indecency?

Indecency is material that is protected under the First Amendment, even though some people find it offensive to one degree or another. Contrast this with obscenity, which has been ruled by the Supreme Court to not be protected expression at all.

Does the Supreme Court regulate obscenity in a strict manner?

The Supreme Court, however, has held that the First Amendment does not protect two types of pornography: obscenity and child pornography. … Pornography that is not obscene may not be banned, but may be regulated as to the time, place, and manner of its distribution, particularly in order to keep it from children.