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Let me point out: Santorum has suggested no new laws concerning pornography

When a politician makes a statement like this, he or she is putting it all on the line. That said, I’d like to point out American’s have already expressed an opinion and Congress has passed federal “obscenity” laws. It’s the Executive Branch’s job to enforce those laws. Should the president not enforce the law?

Quite honestly, as it pertains to laws on the books, this is very similar to the current and previous administration’s refusal to vigorously enforce illegal immigration laws. In this statement, GOP candidate Rick Santorum stated he agrees with current law, gave the reasons why, and confirmed he would enforce the law as it is written. He did not suggest or propose new legislation. For those of you who want to dismiss Santorum thanks to this statement – and many of you do – are you suggesting the Executive Branch should ignore legislation that has passed Congress, signed by previous presidents and confirmed by the Supreme Court?

Title 18, Part 1, Chapter 71 may well be unconstitutional, and the definition of “obscene” can be subjective, but it is the law of the land. As an example, Section 1466 reads as follows.

(a) Whoever is engaged in the business of producing with intent to distribute or sell, or selling or transferring obscene matter, who knowingly receives or possesses with intent to distribute any obscene book, magazine, picture, paper, film, videotape, or phonograph or other audio recording, which has been shipped or transported in interstate or foreign commerce, shall be punished by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or by a fine under this title, or both.

(b) As used in this section, the term “engaged in the business” means that the person who produces, sells or transfers or offers to sell or transfer obscene matter devotes time, attention, or labor to such activities, as a regular course of trade or business, with the objective of earning a profit, although it is not necessary that the person make a profit or that the production, selling or transferring or offering to sell or transfer such material be the person’s sole or principal business or source of income. The offering for sale of or to transfer, at one time, two or more copies of any obscene publication, or two or more of any obscene article, or a combined total of five or more such publications and articles, shall create a rebuttable presumption that the person so offering them is “engaged in the business” as defined in this subsection.

The Supreme Court is on record defining obscenity in Miller v. California. Note the state has the right to define what is obscene material, but Miller v. California sets limits for state obscenity laws to defend First Amendment rights.

  1. Obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment. Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476, reaffirmed. A work may be subject to state regulation where that work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest in sex; portrays, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically defined by the applicable state law; and, taken as a whole, does not have serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value. Pp. 23-24.
  2. The 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, Roth, supra, at 489, (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. If a state obscenity law is thus limited, First Amendment values are adequately protected by ultimate independent appellate review of constitutional claims when necessary. Pp. 24-25.
  3. The test of “utterly without redeeming social value” articulated in Memoirs, supra, is rejected as a constitutional standard. Pp. 24-25.
  4. The jury may measure the essentially factual issues of prurient appeal and patent offensiveness by the standard that prevails in the forum community, and need not employ a “national standard.” Pp. 30-34.

Santorum’s job, as president, would be to lead the Executive Branch in enforcing the laws of the land. In short, if you think Santorum’s statement (concerning enforcing current law) is preposterous, your efforts should be directed towards changing or repealing the law.

Santorum’s complete post, with my emphasis in bold.

America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography. A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences. Addiction to pornography is now common for adults and even for some children. The average age of first exposure to hard-core, Internet pornography is now 11. Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women. It is a contributing factor to prostitution and sex trafficking.

Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography. As a parent, I am concerned about the widespread distribution of illegal obscene pornography and its profound effects on our culture.

For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

Congress has responded. Current federal “obscenity” laws prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier. Rick Santorum believes that federal obscenity laws should be vigorously enforced. “If elected President, I will appoint an Attorney General who will do so.”

The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws. While the Obama Department of Justice seems to favor pornographers over children and families, that will change under a Santorum Administration.

I proudly support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that has tirelessly fought to get federal obscenity laws enforced. That coalition is composed of 120 national, state, and local groups, including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, American Family Association, Cornerstone Family Council of New Hampshire, Pennsylvania Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, and a host of other groups. Together we will prevail.

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9 Responses to "Let me point out: Santorum has suggested no new laws concerning pornography"

  1. stinkfoot says:

    Is this the naked truth?

  2. azn_chic says:

    I remember a certain guy that said, “Raise a banner of bold colors, not pale pastels.” I would think that politicians should stand for something, at least for a culture that have been so removed from God. I remember being able to say the pledge, wishing a Merry Christmas, and having crosses on national landmarks. Not anymore. It only takes one person to be offended in order for my rights to be taken away. Steve, you are right. He did not say he wants a new law, just enforcing the law that we currently have. 

  3. RoBrDona says:

    Selective enforcement or in some cases directed enforcement has been one of the important policy arms of the presidency for a while now. Traditionally Congress tweaks czars and cabinet officials and keeps them in line, but for the last few presidencies they could care less. Who has really tried to bring Holder down to size? (Just as one instance of ridiculous selective abuse of federal laws) And they wonder why their approval rating is hovering at an incredibly low level.        

  4. ricbee says:

    “Obscene” is only in the eye of the beholder. Caca is obscene to me.

  5. Tim-in-Alabama says:

    Democrats will hate Santorum more for enforcing federal laws concerning the dissemination of pornography.

  6. socialenemy says:

    I like that he stands for something and as far as I can tell this country as a whole has turned a blind eye to the growing obscenity in our daily culture. There was a time when you couldn’t show blood or death in any way on TV and now we have shows that are basically serial horror movies or soft core porn on a nightly basis. I understand he’s speaking on pornos and stuff like that but I think it’s time we had someone in DC with real morals.

  7. JBS says:

    What a novel idea, enforce the laws on the books!
    Santorum has a number of good aspects to his candidacy. This is one of them. Hitting Obama where he is vulnerable is crucial to getting rid of the Socialist.
    As I always like to “follow the money”,  the porn industry makes a LOT of money. Could there be a link between porn’s piles of cash and the DNC? It would explain the Regime’s reluctance to “enforce the current law.” (A near analogy to the Occupy bunch.)

  8. Murphy says:

    Enforce the laws and constitutions of the land. How obscene!  ;-)

  9. JollyRoger says:

    I think JBS is on to something…  You can’t even get these porn clowns to wear protection when they’re having wholesale sex as a profession…  Even toll collectors wear “protection” while handling coins and dollars!   I’ll bet the porn industry is a massive and unregulated boondoggle that invests heavily in democrat candidates.  Hard to believe the dems have never called for a “Sin Tax”!

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