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6 U.S.F. L. Rev. 399 (1971-1972)
Reidel, 37 Photographers, and Luros: The Disinterring of Roth

handle is hein.journals/usflr6 and id is 405 raw text is: REIDEL, 37 PHOTOGRAPHERS, AND LUROS:
THE DISINTERRING OF ROTH
INTRODUCTION
Censoring heresy or expression repugnant to the morality of the
day is by no means a solely modern sport of rulers and bureaucrats.
Among many puritanical reforms the Emperor Domitian, certainly no
celibate according to his denigrating biographer,' banned licentious-
ness in the Roman theater.' In Calvin's sixteenth-century Geneva the-
ater performances were confined to religious themes and the reading
of bad books and immoral novels was . . . prohibited.' Voltaire was
imprisoned within the Bastille in 1716 for some of his more ribald
works, and Rousseau's Emile was banned by the Paris censors in 1762
and was found in many later Indexes.4
Nor has censorship been a solely modern concern of political
writers. In his declining years Plato composed his classic treatise on
jurisprudence in which it was recommended that literature, science, and
the arts be forbidden to express ideas inimical to public morality.,
Censorship flourishes in the United States today. By a recent count
all states except New Mexico (which leaves obscenity regulation to
the discretion of its municipalities) have laws suppressing the use or sale
of obscenity.6 And of course the Federal Government has its own ob-
scenity statutes.7
In the late nineteen sixties the position of the United States Su-
preme Court that suppression of obscenity was constitutionally permis-
sible appeared on the wane. Nearly every obscenity conviction that
reached the Court was reversed, and often rather perfunctorily.8 And
in 1969 the invalidation of all obscenity laws seemed imminent when
Stanley v. Georgia,' in the face of the hoary adage that obscenity is not
1. SUETONIuS, HISTORY OF TWELVE CAESARS (Tr. Philemon Holland, 1606), 390
-(1930).
2. Id. at 378.
3. P. SCHAFF, VIII HISTORY OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH (THE Swiss REFORMA-
TION) 490 (1958).
4. G. PUTNAM, CENSORSHIP OF THE CHURCH OF ROME 229 (1906).
5. Laws, Bk. X, 908-909 (Jowett Tr., 1928).
6. Note, 23 VANID. L. REV. 369, 370-71 (1971).
7. See, e.g., The Comstock Act, 18 U.S.C. § 1461 et seq. and 19 U.S.C. § 1305.
8. See especially the many per curiam reversals that followed Redrup v. New
York, 386 U.S. 767 (1967), infra note 37.
9. 394 U.S. 557 (1969).

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