Romney, Gingrich, and Santorum promise to ban pornography if elected

Discussion in 'Politics & Religion' started by DemZad, Jan 10, 2012.

Should the federal government regulate pornography instead of the individual states?

Poll closed Jan 24, 2012.
  1. Yes, the states cannot be trusted with this.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  2. No, the federal government does not have the Constitutional Authority.

    5 vote(s)
    62.5%
  3. Don't really care and looking forward to the Apocalypse.

    3 vote(s)
    37.5%
  1. To be clear, we are talking about the distribution of hard core pornography...

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 9, 2012 /Christian Newswire/ -- Three of the leading GOP 2012 Presidential candidates have made statements committing to enforce existing federal obscenity laws if they are elected, while the current administration still refuses to enforce federal obscenity laws prohibiting distribution of hardcore pornography, according to Morality in Media.

    Morality In Media launched efforts in October 2011 to contact the 2012 presidential candidates, including President Obama, to obtain their respective views on the enforcement of obscenity laws. Thousands of individuals sent emails, made calls and even spoke to the candidates in person urging them to respond to the survey. As a result of these efforts, the following candidates responded:

    Former Senator Rick Santorum in a written statement:
    "Federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so."

    Former Governor Mitt Romney in a written statement:
    "(I)t is imperative that we cultivate the promotion of fundamental family values. This can be accomplished with increased parental involvement and enhanced supervision of our children. It includes strict enforcement of our nation's obscenity laws, as well as the promotion of parental software controls that guard our children from Internet pornography."

    Former Speaker Newt Gingrich in a face-to-face meeting:
    When MIM's Executive Director Dawn Hawkins asked former Speaker Gingrich if he will enforce existing laws that make distribution of hard-core adult pornography illegal, he responded: "Yes, I will appoint an Attorney General who will enforce these laws."

    "Vigorous prosecution of those who violate our nation's obscenity laws is critical now. Our nation is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography that is readily available - even to children on the Internet and in other venues," said Patrick Trueman, Morality in Media President and former chief of the Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Reagan and Bush I Administrations.

    http://www.christiannewswire.com/news/6425818602.html
     
  2. Motherfuckers....! They've crossed the line now...!:p
     
  3. My pitchfork is sharp and my torch is lit. Or, to quote a famous squid, "that's all I can stands and I can't stands no more!"
     
  4. I thought the web had pretty much killed off the porn business anyways. Kind of like NFLX is wiping out Blockbuster.
     
  5. Porn is like the easiest thing to ignore... Fuck it... you don't have to click on the website if you don't want to. I think the religious are too afraid of the temptation...:D Also, for some reason naked women terrify them.:p
     
  6. Not sure. I'd always thought porn did well on the web but I could be mistaken. Having said that, it is rare to see a Blockbuster these days.
     
  7. Epic

    Epic

    I think that fact that it falls almost completely under interstate commerce means that federal obscenity laws should apply and trump state laws. Also, I think in order to make an informed decision it must be clear what the current laws dictate.
     
  8. In the United States, the 1973 ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States in Miller v. California established a three-tiered test to determine what was obscene—and thus not protected, versus what was merely erotic and thus protected by the First Amendment.
    Delivering the opinion of the court, Chief Justice Warren Burger wrote:
    The basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest, (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value.[3]
    ----------
    Miller vs. California seems to be the applicable case law.
    ----------
    The appellant, Marvin Miller, operator of one of the West Coast's largest mail-order businesses dealing in sexually explicit material, had conducted a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of illustrated books, labeled "adult" material (also referred to in the vernacular as pornography). He was found guilty in the Superior Court of Orange County, California (the state trial court) of having violated California Penal Code 311.2 (a), a misdemeanor, by knowingly distributing obscene material. The conviction was affirmed by the California Court of Appeals. As stated in the preface to Chief Justice Warren Burger's majority opinion, the
    Appellant's conviction was specifically based on his conduct in causing five unsolicited advertising brochures to be sent through the mail in an envelope addressed to a restaurant in Newport Beach, California. The envelope was opened by the manager of the restaurant and his mother. They had not requested the brochures and complained to the police.
    According to the Court's decision, the materials in question primarily... consist[ed] of pictures and drawings very explicitly depicting men and women in groups of two or more engaging in a variety of sexual activities, with genitals often prominently displayed. Since the Court's decision in Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), the Court had struggled to define what constituted constitutionally unprotected obscene material. Under the common law rule that prevailed before Roth, articulated most famously in the 1868 English case Regina v. Hicklin, any material that tended to "deprave and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences" was deemed "obscene" and could be banned on that basis. Thus, works by Balzac, Flaubert, James Joyce, and D. H. Lawrence were banned based on isolated passages and the effect they might have on children. Roth repudiated the Hicklin test and defined obscenity more strictly, as material whose "dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest" to the "average person, applying contemporary community standards." Only material now meeting this test could be banned as "obscene."

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller_v._California

    To me it's a can of worms because we all have different ideas on what makes something obscene. I get the interstate commerce clause and all, but to me it's an unnecessary and unconstitutional infringement of states rights.
     
  9. Epic

    Epic

    Unnecessary? I would have to disagree. The problem as pointed out in the court case is that it could be completely unsolicited. Especially in the days of the internet where it is possible to completely disguise the contents of a link. Currently, if a single state chooses to allow any content to be propagated indiscriminately, there is no ability to prevent an organization within that state from reaching audiences outside of state boundaries. This makes it a federal issue, because there is no recourse on a state level. The State of Tennessee is not allowed to prosecute a company that resides and operates in Washington. Such prosecution must be done at the federal level, and that company cannot be held accountable to Tennessee law, because in many cases there is no way to discern the viewer's location.

    So a ban on certain unsolicited material is both reasonable and necessary. Currently it seems this could only be done at a federal level.
     
  10. You make valid points. I disagree that pornography should be regulated at all (except for child porn, which of course should not be allowed to exist), but perhaps this is a case where the fedgov is the only entity capable of providing regulation.
     
    #10     Jan 10, 2012