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First Amendment
South Texas College of Law Houston
Bergin, Kathleen

I. First Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for redress of grievances.
            A. applies to states through 14th Amendment
            B. fundamental right, but not absolute
            C. Objectives
                        1. Mktplace of ideas / exchange of ideas
                                    a. helps to get to truths b/c any lies will be combated by truths
b. problem is today it’s hard for minority viewpoints to be expressed or find a forum
            c. BUT Internet
                        i. problem = drown in all the info
                        2. Representative democracy
                                    a. use info gathered to hold elected officials accountable
                                    b. informs govt. decisionmaking
                                    c. getting your thoughts out promotes governmental stability
                        3. Autonomy / Self-serving
                                    a. the kinds of books we want to read
                                    b. going to see an art piece (access to art/lit./music)
                        4. Govt. Distrust
                                    a. govt. is going to be self-serving
                                    b. govt. will want to silence opposition
II. Unprotected Speech
A. Obscenity
                        1. Roth
                                    a. obscenity is not protected speech
                                    b. no redeeming social value
                                    c. govt. interests:
                                                i. contribute to good order and morality
                                                ii. problem w/ morality = whose morality?
d. Crt. Could have balanced FA objectives by requiring materials to be labeled
e. state laws at time of const didn’t provide protection for every utterance
i. problem w/ historical reasoning is doesn’t allow for progress
                                    f. govt. may control channels of distribution
                        2. Stanley
                                    a. private possession of obscene material protected
                                    b. right to receive info (but see Roth (f))
                                    c. privacy concern w/ being at home
d. here, crt relies on no empirical evidence of obscenity leading to deviance
e. no risk of unwanted exposure to kids here
f. aiding prosecution of other crimes doesn’t outweigh i

ller def doesn’t apply
                                    c. may not matter that materials have serious literary appeal
e. all that matters w/ child porn is that the specific acts of sexual conduct are defined. 
            i. gives notice to public about what’s illegal
                        6. Miller Test
                                    a. first 2 prongs go to jury, 3rd goes to judge
                                                i. this gives judge veto power
                                                ii. means jurors can’t dilute FA
                        7. Ferber v. Stanley
                                    a. Ferber going to win b/c policy of discouraging child abuse
                        8. Youthful Adults
                                    a. adults, but if worried about child abuse, then can argue still encourages
                        9. Virtual Child Porn
                                    a. argue policy doesn’t apply b/c no actual child harmed
                        10. Note: if child porn argument fails, you can fall back on Miller