May 22, 2000

Morally blind Supreme Court no longer sees any constitutional difference between free speech and pornography (MIM Release critical of U.S. v. Playboy decision invalidating federal cable TV porn “bleeding signal” law)

NEWS RELEASE from MORALITY IN MEDIA, Inc.

NEW YORK (22 MAY 2000) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today (5-4) that Congress went too far in requiring cable TV systems to fully scramble sexually-oriented television channels if they do not restrict such networks to overnight hours.

Following are comments from Robert W. Peters, President of Morality in Media, on today’s U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Playboy Entertainment Group (No. 98-1682):

“Today, a majority of the Supreme Court held that the same constitutional standard applies, regardless of whether the government is attempting to regulate political discussion and debate on a public street or attempting to protect children from hardcore depictions of sex that intrude uninvitedly into the home.”Today, a majority of the Court treated government’s ‘compelling’ interests in protecting children and the privacy of the home as not so compelling after all and crippled even further the right of the nation to ‘maintain a decent society.’

“Today, a majority of the Court refused to accept the assessment of Congress that exposing children to the sex talk and imagery found in imperfectly scrambled signals for porn films is harmful to children. Proof of moral harm, said the Court, was lacking.

“Today, a majority of the Court appeared unaware or unconcerned that most parents do not act to protect their children from pornography, whether it enters the home via the telephone, TV or Internet, until after a problem has already occurred and the damage is done.

“Today, a majority of the Court greatly undermined the power of government to assist parents in their already difficult task of raising children in an increasingly morally debased society.

“Today, a majority of the Court adopted the legal and moral reasoning of the porn industry and ACLU; and, in the process, pushed this nation one step closer to the brink of moral anarchy.”

Morality in Media submitted a friend of the court brief to the Supreme Court in the case. Prior to the trial of the case in U.S. District Court in Delaware, MIM had provided the U.S. Justice Department with a list of cable customers who had complained to MIM about being able to hear and see unordered cable porn because the signals were inadequately scrambled.

Author: MIM   05/22/2000

Further Reading