What qualifies as obscene speech?
Obscenity is a category of speech unprotected by the First Amendment. Obscenity laws are concerned with prohibiting lewd, filthy, or disgusting words or pictures. A comprehensive, legal definition of obscenity has been difficult to establish.
What court case dealt with obscenity?
Miller v. California
In Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), the Supreme Court upheld the prosecution of a California publisher for the distribution of obscene materials. In doing so, it established the test used to determine whether expressive materials cross the line into unprotected obscenity.
Is obscene speech protected?
Obscenity is not protected under First Amendment rights to free speech, and violations of federal obscenity laws are criminal offenses. The U.S. courts use a three-pronged test, commonly referred to as the Miller test, to determine if given material is obscene.
What are obscenity cases?
Obscenity refers to a narrow category of pornography that violates contemporary community standards and has no serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value. For adults at least, most pornography — material of a sexual nature that arouses many readers and viewers — receives constitutional protection.
How does a court define what is obscene name the court case?
Obscene materials are defined as those that the average person, applying contemporary community standards, find, taken as a whole, appeal to the prurient interest; that depict or describe, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct or excretory functions specifically defined by applicable state law; and that the work.
Why is obscene speech not protected?
However, there is a high threshold that must be met in order for obscenity not to be protected, which includes showing that the language appeals to the prurient interest in sex, that it depicts something that is considered patently offensive based on contemporary community standards and that it lacks serious literary.
What is the difference between obscene and indecent?
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.
What are fighting words examples?
These include the lewd and obscene, the profane, the libelous, and the insulting or “fighting” words — those which by their very utterance inflict injury or tend to incite an immediate breach of the peace. Thus was born the fighting words doctrine.
What does the slaps test stand for?
SLAPS Test. The third part of the test says the material, taken as a whole must lack any serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value, often called the SLAPS test; expert witnesses’ testimony was required to determine this.
When did the Supreme Court start hearing obscenity cases?
In the 20th Century, the Supreme Court began hearing more cases involving obscenity, as mass communications and media became a mainstay in the country. As the issue grew in importance, the Supreme Court addressed the issue of whether obscene materials were covered by the First Amendment right to free speech.
Is there such a thing as an obscenity case?
In fact, there are many cases in which some reasonable people would find that specific sexually oriented materials have serious artistic, political, literary, or scientific value, while other reasonable people would conclude that they have no such value. The Court’s formulation does not tell the jury how to decide such cases.
Is the Obscenity Act protected under the First Amendment?
Obscenity. Obscenity is not protected under First Amendment rights to free speech, and violations of federal obscenity laws are criminal offenses. The U.S. courts use a three-pronged test, commonly referred to as the Miller test, to determine if given material is obscene.
How is the jury instructed in an obscenity case?
In other words, in any obscenity case, the jury is instructed to determine whether a reasonably prudent person could objectively consider the work to have value.