Article Title

Freedom from Obscenity


Interest in obscenity laws, in the reason and purpose for their being, their efficacy in achieving the ends for which they are intended, the threat their existence and enforcement pose to the freedoms of speech and press, and the attitude of the courts toward them, seems to be at a new high. Obscenity is universally condemned throughout the United States. Yet law enforcement officers who attempt to enforce obscenity laws invariably are accused of "censoring" and "book burning."' A good many of such charges come from persons whose ox is being gored-persons who have a pecuniary interest in having obscenity laws ignored rather than enforced. However, such charges also come from well-intentioned individuals who sincerely believe that criminal prosecutions for the dissemination of obscenity are a threat to individual freedoms. The purpose of this article is to discuss obscenity laws from a propitious point of view, pointing out the sound basis for their existence and enforcement, and examining some of the arguments made against them.