Today, the Family Research Council joined leading pro-family and pro-decency organizations at the National Press Club, in urging the United States Department of Justice to vigorously enforce obscenity laws. Cathy Ruse, Senior Fellow for Legal Studies at Family Research Council had the following comments at today’s press conference:
“The porn industry and their friends at the ACLU seek an America where there are no legal limits on pornography – no limit to how graphic it may be, no limit to the people it can exploit for profit, including children. And they’re winning. Not because what they’re doing is legal, but because they’re getting away with it.
“There is no First Amendment right to make or sell hard-core pornography that’s ‘obscene.’ That’s a legal battle the other side lost a long time ago. And without the law on their side they’ve turned to ridicule, obfuscation, and intimidation to get their way. They mock the word ‘obscenity’ and make fun ofPotter Stewart saying it’s hard to define but ‘I know it when I see it.’ They aim their hired guns at townships threatening to bankrupt them. And they personally and viciously attack anyone who upholds the law.
“But the law says obscene material is that which a jury finds: appeals to the prurient interest, is patently offensive, and lacks serious value.
“So it doesn’t matter what the porn industry or what the ACLU thinks. All that matters is what a jury thinks, and that means ultimately it’s up to the American people to decide what’s illegal or not. The people become disenfranchised when obscenity laws are not vigorously enforced.
“Our voice is the jury verdict. Without obscenity prosecutions there are no juries, and no juries mean no verdicts, and no verdicts mean the people have no voice.
“And that leaves the porn industry to set the standards for the culture.
“We call on the Bush Administration and on the next President of the United States to give us back our voice, and vigorously enforce this nation’s obscenity laws.”