452Miller+v+California - Miller v California 413 U.S...

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Miller v California 413 U.S. 15 (1973) Facts Miller headed a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of ‘illustrated’ books, basically pornography under the name of “adult” material. The unsolicited advertising brochures he ended up mailing consisted mainly of explicit pictures and drawings of men and women engaging in sexual activities and prominently displayed genitals. This clashed with California’s criminal obscenity statute since the materials were “thrust by aggressive sales action upon unwilling recipients…” Issue What constitutes unprotected obscenity? Under what conditions can states regulate obscene materials? Holding Chief Justice Burger delivered the opinion, which upheld Miller’s conviction 5-4. The Court held that obscene material is not protected under the First Amendment, and that States can regulate such material under certain conditions. Rationale In their decision, the Court abandoned previous obscenity tests and developed a new set of criteria to measure what should be considered unprotected obscene materials:
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