Thomas Mackey's Pornography On Trial

750 Words3 Pages
“Congress shall make no law...abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press….” Herein lies the most repeated line in the text. Thomas C. Mackey’s “Pornography on Trial” addresses pornography through obscenity law, a conflict addressed in the Supreme Court since Chaplinsky v. New Hampshire. With the front portion of the book summarizing and analyzing the most influential cases handling obscenity and the back portion providing a brief description of important people and events — as well as case briefs for each case mentioned in the text — the text is a quintessential handbook.
Essentially, Mackey seeks to analyze where we are in obscenity law and how we got here. While it would not be a first choice for recreational reading, the text provides valuable information with causal relationships between cases. The author shows little bias; however, he does indicate at times what certain justices of the court “think.” His analysis contributes value to journalism in the form of historical relevance — not only
…show more content…
In the eyes of the author, “cultural pluralism complicates, and may even completely prevent, the definition of appropriate modes of behavior and self-expression.” With a thorough exploration of how this trend “affects some groups positively and others negatively,” he alludes to the foundation of law regarding pornography: obscene words.
For class purposes, much of pornography law has stemmed from common law in England, including Anglican influence and a thorough integration of church and state. With every belief comes dissent, and as common law sought its way into the American legal system, so did landmark cases like Schenck v. United States and Abrams v. United States. Many obscenity cases came before — such as Regina v. Hicklin — and the ones after honed in on specific contexts, creating rules and tests to identify what truly was

More about Thomas Mackey's Pornography On Trial

Open Document