Larry Flynt Case Study

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Introduction The People v. Larry Flynt ‘The People v. Larry Flynt’ is a docudrama that chronicles the life and exploits of Larry Flynt and his pornographic publication, ‘Hustler.’ Hustler originally began as a newsletter to attract patrons to Flynt’s Hustler Go-Go club with nude photos of the women who worked there. This newsletter evolves into Hustler Magazine, which over time gains a widespread distribution after acquiring and publishing nude photos of Jackie Kennedy Onassis, former First Lady. Flynt is sued for pandering obscenity and engaging in organised crime. His partner, Althea Leisure, hires Alan Isaacman to defend her husband in court. Isaacman tries to make the case that Hustler was not the only obscene magazine published and…show more content…
It further postulates that such commentary on public figures is not only legal, but also healthy — implicitly making the argument that Free Speech is an essential feature of participation in democracy, and that public figures must bow to such caricatures in exchange for the power that society has bestowed upon them. It summarises this belief with a quote taken directly from the Hustler v. Falwell judgement: "At the heart of the First Amendment is the recognition of the fundamental importance of the free flow of ideas. Freedom to speak one 's mind is not only an aspect of individual liberty, but essential to the quest for truth and the vitality of society as a whole. In the world of debate about public affairs many things done with motives that are less than admirable are nonetheless protected by the First…show more content…
It was mainly used as a method to suppress the Freedom Movement. Several freedom fighters, including Tilak, and Gandhi have been jailed under this law. Nehru himself criticised the law, saying “that particular section is highly objectionable and obnoxious and it should have no place both for practical and historical reasons, if you like, in any body of laws that we might pass. The sooner we get rid of it the better.” The sedition law is a draconian law in that it does not require the speaker to incite violence against the state. It simply requires that they “excite disaffection,” a term which the statute specifies “includes disloyalty and all feelings of enmity,” extremely vague terms. Not only that, sedition is punishable by a maximum of life imprisonment. It is also a cognizable offence, meaning that the police can arrest someone for sedition without a warrant. It follows from the above that there have been a number of arrests after loose interpretations of this law. Fortunately, the ratio of convictions to arrests is extremely low, but the chilling effect of this law on free speech is manifold, and instils fear of arbitrary arrested for seemingly innocent
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