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Text This: Words Alone Can Violate Federal Obscenity Laws
With so much attention focused on the Capitol Hill scandal involving inappropriate text messages sent to interns, commentator Howard J. Bashman notes that a recent appellate decision confirms that federal obscenity prosecutions can be brought based on words that are unaccompanied by obscene visual images. While technology has not reached the point where a person can be prosecuted merely for thinking bad thoughts, there are exceptions to First Amendment protections for the expression of thoughts in language.
October 09, 2006 at 12:00 AM
1 minute read
By Howard J. Bashman |
Updated on October 09, 2006
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The original version of this story was published on Law.Com
Related: Bashman Archive
With so much attention focused on the Congressman Mark Foley sex scandal involving inappropriate text messages to congressional interns, it’s worth noting that recent news reports and a federal appellate court decision confirm that federal obscenity prosecutions can be brought based on words alone, even when those words are unaccompanied by obscene visual images.
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