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The cases you have read is

New York v. Ferber; Massachusetts v. Oakes; Ashcroft v. Free
Speech Coalition; L.A. anti- pornography law; Mackinnon on obscenity and
pornography; American Booksellers Association v. Hudnut

First Lecture

  We will
hold no classes the week of September 26 while I am lecturing in Europe.  That said, I want you to prepare two short, one-page papers each, based
on these comments on the material assigned for this week.  If  you
wish, give your own opinion.

  We have
discussed whether expressions deemed to be obscene or pornographic are
protected by the First Amendment. 
First, decide, at least preliminarily, whether you agree with the
current position of the Court on this issue. 
Second, do you think the Court correctly decided the cases, such as Ferber, Oakes, Ashcroft?

  Note that
Justice Byron White, in his opinion for the Court in the 1982 Ferber case, cites the Miller precedent quite a bit.  How useful do you think this is?  Is there a special issue involved here
because the “victims” involved are children? 
How would you decide this case? 
How does it differ from the 1989 Oakes
decision, decided just a few years later? 
Who was correct in this case: Justice Sandra Day O’Connor or Justice
Antonin Scalia?

  And then,
determine the vast technological changes that took place from 1989 to 2002 when
the Court decided Ashcroft.  In 1989, the Internet was in its infancy, but
not so by 2002.  And yet, the justices
tried to deal with the new technology in the distribution of child pornography,
only now it was “virtual” child pornography. 
Justice Anthony Kennedy, who wrote the opinion of the Court, had five
justices join him.  How much reliance is
there on Miller and Ferber
Is it well placed?  What about the
dissent?  Which side do you agree with?

Second Lecture

  Is it
possible to outlaw pornography as Los Angeles tried to do?  How do you assess the law?  Is it just an impossible task?  What is your reaction to the views of
Catharine MacKinnon, who is a distinguished law professor at the University of
Michigan?  MacKinnon has written about
these matters, often in collaboration with another radical feminist by the name
of Andrea Dworkin, who is now deceased, for many years. 

  Courts did
not really deal with a law like the one L.A. passed until the Indianapolis city
council passed a similar one.  The
American Booksellers Association is a national trade organization much like
other trade groups like the American Manufacturing Association.  It filed suit against the mayor of the city
and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals struck it down in 1986.

  Do you
believe that laws can outlaw pornography and obscenity?  Can morality be legislated in this