November 1st, 2007 11:25 EST
Supreme Court Hears Pornography Case During White Ribbons Against Pornography Week
The Supreme Court heard arguments Tueaday in U.S. v. Williams involving the distribution and solicitation of illegal child pornography. In this case a man was charged under a federal statute after advertising on a chat- room: "Dad of toddler has 'good pics' of her and me for swap of your toddler pics, or live cam," and then sending images of nude minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct to a federal agent.
Michael Williams pleaded guilty under a federal law that prohibits knowingly advertising, promoting, presenting, distributing, or soliciting any material in a manner that reflects the belief, or that is intended to cause another to believe, that the material is illegal child pornography. The Supreme Court is charged with determining if this law is overly broad and impermissibly vague, and thus unconstitutional.
Mario Diaz, Concerned Women for America's (CWA) Policy Director for Legal Issues, says the answer is: no. "This law requires a specific intent on the part of the individual. It requires that he knowingly distribute or solicit illegal child pornography, or for him to cause another to believe the material is illegal child pornography, material that is clearly not protected speech under the First Amendment."
CWA President Wendy Wright says she hopes the Supreme Court will go beyond mere theory and takes a closer look at the enormous effect pornography has on our society. "The facts of this case highlight for us the need for laws against obscene material and the importance of the strict enforcement of those laws. The First Amendment protects the intelligent exchange of ideas. It offers no protection for a parent to offer lascivious pictures of his toddler being sexually abused.
"It is only fitting that the Supreme Court is hearing this case right in the middle of White Ribbons Against Pornography (WRAP) Week when we are trying to raise awareness of the harmful effects of pornography. We hope that in looking at this case, the Justices keep in mind who is it that we are really trying to protect: the victims, not the criminals."
Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.
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