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New York v. Ferber

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Citation Edit

New York v. Ferber, 458 U.S. 747 (1982) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

The defendant was a bookstore owner who sold films. He was convicted for selling child pornography.

U.S. Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of a state statute that prohibited any person from [[knowingly producing, promoting, directing, exhibiting, or selling any material depicting a "sexual performance" by a child under the age of 16. The statute defined "sexual performance" as any performance that includes "actual or simulated sexual intercourse, deviate sexual intercourse, sexual bestiality, masturbation, sado-masochistic abuse, or lewd exhibition of the genitals." The Court explained that, like obscenity, child pornography is of only "low" First Amendment value and that the "use of children" in such materials "is harmful to the physiological, emotional, and mental health of the child." The Court added that, unlike obscenity, child pornography does not have to meet all of the requirements of U.S. v. Miller.

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