Modern advances in printing, distribution and advertisement have accentuated an old problem of social and legal significance-what, if anything, should be done to control obscene publications. Increased concern with the problem has been shown not only by organizations active in this area, by numerous articles and books which have recently been written, but also by the courts, highlighted by the recent Ginzburg, Mishkin' and 'Fanny Hill' cases. These cases have been hailed by some as a license for a full scale war on the "smut peddlers" and by others as a caution to proceed slowly. The obscenity problem brings into focus questions and considerations facing the law in this and many other areas today: Are there tentative or working definitions of goals? What means and alternatives are available to reach such goals? Are present approaches oriented to such goals or merely hold-overs from periods with different priorities of concerns and values? What are the results under present methods-are they creating greater hazards than those "cured"? Is the problem a valid concern for control by legal processes or is it an area which should be left to other means of influencing and controlling behavior?
Frank W. Smith Jr.,
Obscenity: From Hicklin to Hicklin?,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol2/iss5/2