micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Monday, August 11, 2003
The election of George W. Bush in 2000 caused some in the porn industry to fear a federal crackdown after years of the Clinton years where obscenity trials were relatively rare. It took over two and a half years but such fears are finally becoming reality.
On Thursday federal prosecutors charged Extreme Associates owners Robert Zicari and Janet Romano with distributing materials to western Pennsylvania that are obscene by the standards of western Pennsylvania, Jesus Sanchez of The Los Angeles Times reports in a story from the same day:
"Today's indictment marks an important step in the Department of Justice's strategy for attacking the proliferation of adult obscenity," U.S. Atty. Gen. John Ashcroft said in a statement. "The Justice Department will continue to focus our efforts on targeted obscenity prosecutions that will deter others from producing and distributing obscene material."Zicari has vowed to fight the charges and has begun to sell the materials in question as "The Federal FIVE" for $110 "with all proceeds going directly to the Extreme Associates Legal Defense Fund!"
It will be interesting to see the prosecution's arguments in this post-sodomy law period. Prosecutors will be hard pressed to argue that materials depicting explicit sex acts are obscene and they will also strain credibility by suggesting that rape can not be depicted so long as Day of the Woman (Meir Zarchi, 1978) is available on dvd. But they could present an argument that depicting explicit sex acts that come about, in the context of the production's story, as a result of rape does amount to obscenity. I don't really buy it but it is the best I could come up to justify this prosecution.
That said, the argument, as expressed by Glenn Reynolds, that the Justice Department shouldn't be doing this because the "war on terror" is still going on doesn't hold up, unless you believe federal prosecutors should only be pursuing cases related to the "war on terror."