obscenity, First Amendment, free speech, history, Supreme Court, standards


Edward J. Berbusse, S.J. reviews The Law of Obscenity by Frederick F. Schauer. Schauer's book provides a historical perspective on obscenity law, tracking developments through several centuries. It begins with a look at obscenity law within the Church during the 16th and moves through civil law in England and up to the present in the United States. The book then explores the Miller v. California decision and the Supreme Court's move to a local standard, rather than national, of obscenity. In addition to the Miller case, Schauer looks at other important decisions which developed the modern body of law focusing on work which does not have educational, literary, or artistic merit. Berbusse lauds the book as a useful primer and overview for judges and attorneys.



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