Roth v. U.S.: Supreme Court Rules Obscene Material Not Protected by First Amendment

Roth v. U.S.: Supreme Court Rules Obscene Material Not Protected by First Amendment

Roth v. United States

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Argued: Roth v. United States — The U.S. Supreme Court will rule that 'obscene' material is not protected by the First Amendment because freedom of expression does not give people absolute protection for every possible utterance.

From the majority opinion:

"...implicit in the history of the First Amendment is the rejection of obscenity as utterly without redeeming social importance. ...However, sex and obscenity are not synonymous.

Obscene material is material which deals with sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest. The portrayal of sex, e. g., in art, literature and scientific works, is not itself sufficient reason to deny material the constitutional protection of freedom of speech and press. ...

It is therefore vital that the standards for judging obscenity safeguard the protection of freedom of speech and press for material which does not treat sex in a manner appealing to prurient interest."

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