The Legal Case for Restricting Pornography
Alan E. Sears Legal Counsel, Citizens for Decency through Law, Inc., and former Executive Director, Attorney General's Commission on Pornography
The American people have a legal and constitutional right to stop the abuse of society and its individual members by the pornographers. Seldom discussed in the debate regarding pornography and contemporary American culture are the rights of the majority of the American people who want something done about what they perceive to be a very serious social problem, the problem of pornographic environmental pollution and their right to self-determination on this issue. Most often heard are the claims of alleged First Amendment protection for criminal or otherwise harmful acts. In the past few years, much public outcry has been heard, and in response to this citizen concern President Ronald Reagan and Attorney General William French Smith authorized the establishment of The Attorney General's Commission on Pornography in early 1985 to study problems and issues relating to pornography.
It is the opinion of this writer that the single most important finding of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography ( Final Report of the Attorney General's Commission on Pornography, 1986), was the finding perhaps least reported and least discussed in the public debate--the finding that the rule of law will work in our society and that within the bounds of the law the public's major concerns regarding the pornography issue can be successfully re