Obscenity Laws

2012 Presidential Race Obscenity Laws Rick Santorum Santorum Santorum Says Say What Now - 5985167360
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Having gone after pretty much every other "social malady" in the book, Rick Santorum is finally setting his sights on the big daddy of them all: Pornography.

In a statement that reads like something Anthony Comstock would have deemed "going too far," the GOP presidential candidate claims pornography "causes profound brain changes in both children and adults" and blasts the Justice Department for favoring "pornographers over children" by not enforcing obscenity laws.

Santorum continues: "[C]urrent federal 'obscenity' laws prohibit distribution of hardcore [obscene] pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier."

The former Pennsylvania Senator concludes by vowing that, as President, he will change the status quo as it concerns pornography.

It seems somewhat laughable, but can President Santorum really get rid of Internet porn if he set his mind to it? Yes, says UCLA Law Professor and noted blogger Eugene Volokh.

"If the government wanted to aggressively move against Internet pornography, it could do so," Volokh told The Daily Caller. "Here’s the deal: In most parts of the country, a lot of pornography on the Internet would plausibly be seen as obscene."

The law may be on his side, but, if he were to pursue his anti-porn crusade, Santorum would likely find rather quickly that the only thing still able to blur the lines of political affiliation is porn.

"When it comes to adult entertainment, it seems people are more the same than different," said Harvard Business School's Benjamin Edelman, who, in 2009, published a nationwide study [pdf] on porn viewing habits that should give Santorum pause.

Eight out of the top 10 porn-loving states voted for John McCain in the 2008 presidential election. By comparison, six of the bottom 10 cast their vote for Obama.

[thehill / dailycaller / newscientist.]