In a Letter to Presidential-elect Barack Obama, Morality in Media President Bob Peters Said: Your Choice is Either to Build on the Limited Progress Made Under President Bush in Combating Obscenity or to Follow in Former President Clinton's Footsteps and Give Hardcore Pornographers Another 'Free Ride'
...But if you now hope to become the President of all Americans, you will have to make policy decisions that citizens who voted for and against you can support.
I am writing to you again about the need to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws...In particular, the individuals you nominate to serve as Attorney General, Director of the FBI...will play crucial roles in the matter of enforcement or non-enforcement of federal obscenity laws. In the longer term, your nominations for federal judges will also play a crucial role...
...[T]he First Amendment does not protect obscene materials. As the Supreme Court stated in a 1973 obscenity case, Miller v. California: "This much has been categorically settled by the Court, that obscene material is unprotected by the First Amendment"...
...In another 1973 obscenity case, Paris Adult Theater I v. Slaton...the Supreme Court identified several "legitimate governmental interests" that justify a prohibition on obscene materials "even if it is feasible to enforce effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles"...
It is of course no secret that the U.S. has failed miserably at "enforcing effective safeguards against exposure to juveniles." The Internet in particular is awash with hardcore pornographic materials that are available to minors without cost or proof of age; and surveys indicate that large numbers of children have been inadvertently exposed to these materials or have sought them out.
It has failed miserably because federal judges have repeatedly invalidated the Child Online Protection Act of 1998...and because federal Internet obscenity laws have rarely been enforced...
Citizen organizations involved in the "war against obscenity" have often and rightly criticized the Bush Administration for its failure to vigorously enforce federal obscenity laws. But in fairness to the Bush Administration, it has made some progress in the "war against obscenity"...
The choice for you as the next President is either to build on the progress made by your immediate predecessor or to allow the Justice Department to revert to the policy adopted under President Clinton's watch - namely, to give commercial distributors of hardcore pornography a "free ride." If you choose to be a builder, the large majority of Americans old enough to vote will support you....
SOURCE Morality in Media
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