Constitutional Law Keyed to Cohen
American Booksellers Association, Inc. v. Hudnut
Plaintiffs, who are a group of distributors and readers of books, magazines, and films bring suit against an Indianapolis ordinance that defined pornography as a practice that discriminates against women. Under the ordinance pornography is the graphic sexually explicit subordination of women, whether in pictures of in words. The ordinance lists several examples that would be considered pornography under the ordinance. The ordinance also contains four prohibitions, which include a prohibition on “trafficking” in pornography, “coercing” others into performing in pornographic works, and “forcing” pornography on anyone. This ordinance states that anyone injured by someone who has seen or read pornography has a right of action against the maker or seller. The District Court held that this ordinance is unconstitutional, as not falling under the obscenity exception to the First and Fourteenth Amendments under Miller. The Plaintiffs appealed to the Seventh Circuit.
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