Roberts: Lesser Protection For Porn

Roberts: Lesser Protection For Porn
WASHINGTON — Upon questioning by Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) Tuesday, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice nominee John Roberts said he felt the Supreme Court had clearly established that the constitution affords less protection for pornographic speech than other forms of expression.

But, harkening back to the famous quote from Justice Potter Stewart in 1964, he said he wouldn’t attempt to define pornography but he knows it when he sees it.

"The difficulty that the court has addressed...is always defining what is or is not pornography and what is entitled to protection under the First Amendment and what is not," Roberts said. “You determine whether it is entitled to First Amendment protection in the first place."

His answer came in response to DeWine’s vocal frustration over the fact that both the Child Online Pornography Act and the Communications Decency Act had been struck down in the courts. Nonetheless, Roberts avoided giving too specific an answer when the Republican senator asked for his own opinions on pornography.

“Certain types of speech, like child pornography, are not entitled to protection,” he said. “There are different categories, and the court has struggled over the years in figuring out how to determine what belongs in what category. Beyond that, I do not think I can give a more precise answer."