Ben Laurie blathering

Nitke v. Gonzales

The US Supreme Court has declined to hear an appeal against the decision in Nitke v. Gonzales (in which I was an expert witness for Nitke), a case attempting to overthrow the remaing part of the Communications Decency Act. This means that the decency of a website is determined by the whole of the US – if any community anywhere finds it indecent then that’s enough to prosecute.

This is clearly ridiculous. I rather like the suggestion made here:

Find a community composed of more Muslims of the branch that insist women must be covered head to ankle by burkas. Within that community, bring suit against the US government, Sears, Wal-mart, etc for putting pictures on the internet of women who are not covering their hair and face. Let’s see how far Miller flies once we push its ethical relativism roots into the light. It doesn’t work in a national judicial process.

1 Comment

  1. Actually, as I understand it, the district court struck down part of the Thomas decision which allows the JD a free hand in prosecuting based on arbitrary local community standards nationwide. The court also found subtantive shortcoming with the “serious value” prong of the Miller test.

    So while it’s not the outcome we wanted, gains were made and the issue is far from settled.

    More on this analysis here:

    Comment by Matt — 26 Mar 2006 @ 18:28

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