Is the sale and distribution of obscene materials by mail protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech guarantee?
In a 5-to-4 decision, the Court held that obscene materials did not enjoy First Amendment protection. The Court modified the test for obscenity established in Roth v. United States and Memoirs v. Massachusetts, holding that "[t]he basic guidelines for the trier of fact must be: (a) whether 'the average person, applying contemporary community standards' would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest. . . (b) whether the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and (c) whether the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value." The Court rejected the "utterly without redeeming social value" test of the Memoirs decision.
1st EditionGlen Krutz
16th EditionGeorge C. Edwards III, Martin P. Wattenberg, Robert L. Lineberry
11th EditionMichael D. Reisig, Todd R. Clear
9th EditionChristina Dejong, Christopher E. Smith, George F Cole