National Catholic Register: Sessions Says Obscenity Cases Should Be ‘Vigorously Prosecuted’

Trump attorney general pick said smut should ‘continue to be effectively and vigorously prosecuted in the cases that are appropriate.’

National Catholic Register. Matt Hadro/CNA/EWTN News

WASHINGTON — The new nominee for U.S. attorney general has said that he would “vigorously” enforce obscenity laws, a move which one expert described as a step forward in fighting pornography and violence against women.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., during his first confirmation hearing last week to become the next attorney general, was questioned by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, about federal obscenity laws.

Hatch mentioned the state of Utah passing a resolution declaring pornography to be a “public health problem” and asked Sessions if “federal laws prohibiting adult obscenity should be vigorously enhanced.”

Sessions answered that “those laws are clear, and they are being prosecuted today, and should continue to be effectively and vigorously prosecuted in the cases that are appropriate.”

…the National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE), had put the Department of Justice on its 2013, 2014 and 2015 “Dirty Dozen” lists of the “top contributors to sexual exploitation” for closing the special task force and for not prosecuting enough obscenity crimes.

In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch in January of 2016, the center noted that, “to our knowledge, not one new obscenity case has been initiated against commercial distributors of hardcore, adult pornography in the last seven years.”

“Yet federal law prohibits distribution of obscene adult pornography on the internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops through the mail and by common carrier,” they continued.

They pointed to “themes of incest, racism, sexism and exploitation” found in content from Verizon and InterContinental Hotels Group, including an “emphasis on teen and young girls.”

NCOSE concluded by asking the Department of Justice to prosecute obscenity crimes more seriously:

“In an age when our society is struggling to deal with serious child and adult sexual exploitation, racially motivated sexual violence, and epidemic of sexual assault on college and university campuses, thousands of young women and girls are being trafficked for purposes of prostitution, Department of Justice employees must be admonished to not engage in purchase of sex from prostituting persons, and child sexual abuse is 167 times more common than autism in children, adult, hardcore pornography only serves to exacerbate deeply entrenched social ills that have devastating impacts at the individual and societal level. It is long past time for the producers and distributors of this sexually toxic material to face justice.”


The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

Support Dignity

There are more ways that you can support dignity today, through an online gift, taking action, or joining our team.

Defend Human Dignity. Donate Now.

Defend Dignity.
Donate Now.