Democracy, Sex and the First Amendment


Is the Supreme Court’s obscenity doctrine-which permits government to ban hardcore pornography-a mere relic of the Victorian era, drained of all vitality by the momentous changes in First Amendment jurisprudence over the last forty years, and maintained on life support only by the prudishness of hidebound justices? Or, notwithstanding the vituperative criticism leveled at it by commentators and dissenting justices, is this doctrine in fact consistent with the basic principles that animate the Court’s contemporary free speech jurisprudence?

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