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Rick Santorum Vows War on Porn

Rick Santorum Vows War on Porn
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Mar 15, 2012 10:30 AM PDT    Text size: 

WASHINGTON — Republican Presidential hopeful Rick Santorum has pledged to continue the government’s war on porn if elected President.

In a statement on his campaign website, Santorum said, “The Obama Administration has turned a blind eye to those who wish to preserve our culture from the scourge of pornography and has refused to enforce obscenity laws.”

The former Pennsylvania Senator maintained that America is suffering from “a pandemic of harm” and that research shows that porn causes brain changes in children and adults that lead to toxic marriages, misogyny, prostitution and sex trafficking.

Santorum vowed that if elected he will appoint an Attorney General specifically to enforce federal obscenity laws.

“For many decades, the American public has actively petitioned the United States Congress for laws prohibiting distribution of hard-core adult pornography.

“Congress has responded. Current 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,” Santorum’s message states.

He goes on to support the efforts of the War on Illegal Pornography Coalition that’s made up of a host of anti-porn zealots including Morality in Media, Family Research Council, Focus on the Family and more.

Even if the ultra-conservative candidate receives his party’s nomination and wins the office of President, his effort to shut down Internet porn wouldn’t be so easy.

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

Santorum could take porn producers to court and have them shut down.

But the professor pointed out that although domestic porn sites could be vulnerable, trying to close offshore sites would be difficult because Santorum would need legislative action forcing ISPs to use mandatory filters set up by the government or by the service providers themselves.

Private consumption of adult materials could also be a stumbling block in Santorum's porn shutdown, according to Volokh.

“Although the Supreme Court says private possession is constitutionally protected, it has said that private receipt of [pornography] is not protected. You can’t prosecute them all …but you can find certain types of pornography that are sufficiently unpopular” for easy convictions, Volokh explained.

The professor noted that enforcing privately received porn prosecutions would be extremely difficult and unpopular by U.S. citizens because “sometimes it’s viewed by husbands and wives who watch it to spice up their sex lives.”

Nevertheless, Santorum pledged to his anti-porn supporters that, “Together we will prevail.”

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