Venue

Location schmocation. A couple of items in the news. First, a provocative piece from the talented David Hudson of the First Amendment Center, entitled “Obscenity online: Do we need a national standard?” Second, the Iowa Court of Appeals delivered this decision yesterday. Iowa charged Clarence Judy, owner of a strip club in Hamburg, Iowa, with three counts of [...]

Max Hardcore might not do Max-hard-time

Today the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed an obscenity conviction but … The trial of Paul F. Little a.k.a. Max Hardcore included allegations of (1) improper comments by the government during closing argument; (2) improper jury instructions; (3) improper handling of juror irregularities; (4) failure of the judge to recuse herself; and (5) errors in [...]

Are obscenity prosecutions on the rise?

Maybe. Or maybe not. “What’s Obscene? Google Could Have an Answer” appears in tomorrow’s edition of The New York Times. The question is whether Internet data — specifically, Google search results — may be used at trial to gauge “community standards,” whatever that means. The article quotes two talented attorneys (disclaimer: I consider them friends), [...]

Texas sexual device ban held unconstitutional

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals just reviewed Texas’s obscenity statute, and here’s how the opinion begins: This case assesses the constitutionality of a Texas statute making it a crime to promote or sell sexual devices. The district court upheld the statute’s constitutionality and granted the State’s motion to dismiss for failure to state a [...]

Virginia Beach police seize photos from Abercrombie store

If I didn’t know Virginia Beach, I’d have guessed this was a publicity stunt. But it’s not. According to the article from Hampton Road’s PilotOnline.com (via The Drudge Report), Police, saying they were responding to citizen complaints, carted away two large promotional photographs from the Abercrombie & Fitch store in Lynnhaven Mall on Saturday and [...]

Everything is new(d) again

I’ve been working and playing. My playtime has been with our first baby, Ms. Audrey Jane Wiggins. She’s a hoot. Born on January 8, she’s been a non-stop machine, keeping her parents (especially mom) busy changing, feeding, rocking, gazing and laughing. I love it when Audrey smiles, even if the grin’s just a “gas release,” [...]

Speaking of obscenity…

Howard Bashman — of How Appealing fame — wrote an essay entitled, “Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws,” which appears on law.com. Prompting his article is a recent decision from the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals where, as Bashman reports, the court “affirmed a federal criminal conviction based on a jury’s finding [...]