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I Introduction The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that Congress shall make no law abridging the freedom of speech or of the press Despite this most hallowed of constitutional imperatives both Congress and the states have found numerous occasions upon which to pass such laws and continue to do so today Nowhere is this tendency more poignantly exemplified than in the arena of sexually explicit speech At present laws restricting speech that is obscene indecent or patently offensive remain a significant part of our legal landscape and persist in threatening our ability to freely express ourselves about sex and obtain information about sex-related issues Laws regulating sexually explicit speech have undergone a series of transformations over the course of the Twentieth Century significantly expanding the rights of adults to view create and sell sexually explicit works Pornography for example is no longer considered obscene since it actually holds some serious literary artistic political or scientific value Indeed it is extremely rare nowadays for a person to be prosecuted for obscenity Nevertheless lawmakers have found more creative and indirect ways to place restrictions on sexually explicit speech One very popular method involves the invocation of the governments duty to protect minors This route to censorship has proven rather successful in certain contexts such as in the sale of girlie magazines to minors and in upholding the FCCs stringent prohibitions on explicit sexual or otherwise speech during daytime radio broadcasts By making appeals to the need to protect minors from the purported harm caused by exposure to sexually explicit materials legislators have been able to arm themselves with a powerful tool for censoring controversial speech However such appeals have not been entirely successful in all circumstances In particular no medium capable of communicating sexually explicit speech has elicited a more visceral response from legislators than the Internet Despite the rabid desires of some moralizing state and
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