"Roast Pigs" and Miller-Light: Variable Obscenity in the Nineties
Marion D. Hefner | 1996 U. Ill. L. Rev.
Although the text of the First Amendment appears to prevent any speech regulation, the Supreme Court has fashioned several exceptions--including obscenity--to the First Amendment's broad protection of speech that permit states to regulate categories of speech to promote compelling governmental interests. Traditionally, lower courts have analyzed regulations that restrict minors' access to sexually explicit materal within the rubric of the obscenity doctrine. This analytical framework has permitted lower courts to strike much of the minors' access regulation that states propose. The author contends, however, that the Supreme Court's already existing framework for obscenity regulation permits courts to uphold more restrictive minors' access regulations. States should be permitted to regulate minors' access to harmful material without having to satisfy traditional standards of obscenity. The author proposes model statutory language that would permit states to do just that while withstanding judicial scrutiny within current constitutional requirements.