GPO-CONAN-2017-10-15.pdf

The rights noted by the court were held superior to

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The rights noted by the Court were held superior to the interests Georgia asserted to override them. That is, first, the state was held to have no authority to protect an individual’s mind from the effects of obscenity, to promote the moral con- tent of one’s thoughts. Second, the state’s assertion that exposure to obscenity may lead to deviant sexual behavior was rejected on the basis of a lack of empirical sup- port and, more important, on the basis that less intrusive deterrents were avail- able. Thus, a right to be free of governmental regulation in this area was clearly recognized. 667 United States v. Reidel, 402 U.S. 351, 354–56 (1971) (no right to distribute obscene material for private use); United States v. Thirty-seven Photographs, 402 U.S. 363, 375–76 (1971) (no right to import obscene material for private use); United States v. 12 200–Ft. Reels of Film, 413 U.S. 123 (1973) (no right to acquire obscene material for private use); Osborne v. Ohio, 495 U.S. 103, 109–111 (1990) (no right to possess child pornography in the home). 668 413 U.S. 49 (1973). 669 413 U.S. at 64. Similar themes can be found in Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 148 (1972), decided the year before. Because the Court had determined that the right to obtain an abortion constituted a protected “liberty,” the State was required to jus- tify its proscription by a compelling interest. Departing from a laissez faire , “free will” approach to individual autonomy, the Court recognized protecting the health of the mother as a valid interest. The Court also mentioned but did not rule upon a state interest in protecting morality. The Court was referring not to the morality of abortion, but instead to the promotion of sexual morality through making abortion unavailable. Roe v. Wade, 410 U.S. 113, 148 (1972). 1956 AMENDMENT 14—RIGHTS GUARANTEED
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Furthermore, continued the Court in Paris Adult Theatre I , “[o]ur Constitution establishes a broad range of conditions on the exer- cise of power by the States, but for us to say that our Constitution incorporates the proposition that conduct involving consenting adults is always beyond state regulation is a step we are unable to take . . . . The issue in this context goes beyond whether someone, or even the majority, considers the conduct depicted as ‘wrong’ or ‘sinful.’ The States have the power to make a morally neutral judgment that public exhibition of obscene material, or commerce in such mate- rial, has a tendency to injure the community as a whole, to endan- ger the public safety, or to jeopardize . . . the States’ ‘right . . . to maintain a decent society.’ ” 670 Ultimately, the idea that acts should be protected not because of what they are, but because of where they are performed, may have begun and ended with Stanley . The limited impact of Stanley was reemphasized in Bowers v. Hardwick . 671 The Court in Bowers , finding that there is no protected right to engage in homosexual sodomy in the privacy of the home, held that Stanley did not implic- itly create protection for “voluntary sexual conduct [in the home] between consenting adults.” 672 Instead, the Court found Stanley “firmly
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