Constitutional Law

“Upcoming trial will see hours of hard-core fetish pornography”

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That's the surprisingly to-the-point headline on an L.A. Times story about the upcoming obscenity trial of shock-porn filmmaker Ira Isaacs, who sez of his own bestiality- and defecation-flecked art: "I think I'd freak out if I had to watch six hours of the stuff." There is, however, some encouraging news for the defense:

Presiding over the trial will be Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Kozinski was assigned the case as part of a rotation in which he and other appeals court judges occasionally oversee criminal trials in addition to deciding appeals.

His involvement in the case may be a stroke of luck for Isaacs. That is because Kozinski is seen as a staunch defender of free speech. When he learned that there were filters banning pornography and other materials from computers in the appeals court's Pasadena offices, he led a successful effort to have the filters removed.

"I did some rabble-rousing about it," Kozinski said in a brief interview last week. He said he was made aware of the issue when a law clerk researching a case was banned from accessing a gay bookstore's website.

"I didn't think the bureaucrats in Washington should decide what the federal judiciary should have access to," the judge said. "I thought that was incredibly arrogant for them to decide on their own."

More about the trial ? and the "Department of Justice task force formed in 2005 after Christian conservative groups appealed to the Bush administration to crack down on smut" ? here. Shikha Dalmia's shocking July 2006 interview with Kozinski here, and Greg Beato's May 2004 examination of "Washington's new crackdown on pornography can be found here. (Link via Patterico.)

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25 responses to ““Upcoming trial will see hours of hard-core fetish pornography”

  1. Shouldn’t be a problem getting jurors for that one.

  2. There is, however, some encouraging news for the defense

    I would be cautiously optimistic at best. Max Hardcore just got convicted in a federal court in Tampa last week of distributing obscene material on the internet. Apparently Max violates the community standards by allowing adult individuals to privately consume his video emissions in the privacy of their homes. Mons Venus and the 200 other assorted strip clubs, adult book stores and massage parlors manage to avoid doing so.

  3. I’ll be in the deliberation room…

  4. Of course, I can imagine jury selection would involve some highly uncomfortable questions as well.

  5. For once we are taking these cases seriously. This garbage doesn’t belong in a Christian nation like America.

  6. Uh oh, sounds like one-a them activist judges that are givin’ us so many problems these days.

  7. For once we are taking these cases seriously. This garbage doesn’t belong in a Christian nation like America.

    “This garbage” could refer to a whole lot of things.

  8. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of Judge Kozinski. He’s a real character, and fairly well- tilted towards the pro-freedom end of things.

  9. Kozinski’s order should work great…until an employee sees another employee looking at something offensive and complains to management and/or the union. Is the judge gonna stick his neck out when the offender gets fired?

  10. Going after pornographers is like going after drug dealers. It just makes more profit for the ones left.

    For a great piece of relevant history on this, see:
    The Government vs Erotica

  11. On the other hand, I’m a big fan of Judge Kozinski. He’s a real character, and fairly well- tilted towards the pro-freedom end of things.

    His dissent in Silviera vs. Lockyer is damn near the final word on the 2nd Amendment. He’s the kind of guy I’d like to see on SCOTUS, and will never get there.

  12. President Obama won’t be prosecuting smut peddlers to appease the Christian nuts.

    He will, however, be cracking down hard on pornographers to appease the feminist nuts.

  13. He will, however, be cracking down hard on pornographers to appease the feminist nuts.

    Somehow I fucking doubt it.

  14. Ever since high school history class I have been confused about why “obscene” material isn’t just as protected under the first amendment as anything else.

  15. Zeb | June 9, 2008, 2:07pm | #

    Ever since high school history class I have been confused about why “obscene” material isn’t just as protected under the first amendment as anything else.

    Your high school history class sounds a lot more interesting than mine.

  16. I love seeing some of the toolboxes commenting in King Tool Patterico’s blogpost. Sort of like or friend anonymous John above, but with more intelligence.

  17. It’s well known that Kozinski’s a huge movie buff — count the film titles in his opinion in the anti-trust case of U.S. v. Syufy Enterprises, 903 F.2d 659 (9th Cir. 1990), for example (hint: there are more than 200). So, unless this stuff has some good plot lines, Kozinski may ultimately just pooh pooh Isaacs’ films as asinine.

  18. …commenting in King Tool Patterico’s blogpost. Sort of like or friend anonymous John above, but with more intelligence.

    Somehow, I doubt there’s any actual intelligence over there. It may superficially resemble intelligence, but I imagine it’s more like one of those horses that has been trained to solve math problems.

  19. if this really were a Christian nation, there wouldn’t be a market for pornography

  20. the innominate one | June 9, 2008, 4:26pm | #

    if this really were a Christian nation, there wouldn’t be a market for pornography

    I am assuming you mean “If this really were a Christian nation and nobody ever committed a ‘sin’ in terms of the Judeo-Christian code, there wouldn’t be a market for pornography.”

    My quibble is that it is already a majority Christian nation in terms of professed believers.

    Further, even if it were a “Christian Nation” in legal terms as the fundamentalist Christians want, there would still be people who break the rules.

  21. In the Tampa case, jurors were also subjected to hours and hours of porn. Uh, Feds, don’t you know that porn is generally consumed 15 minutes or *maybe* half an hour at a time?? I just wish the courts cared about financial criminality 1/4 as much as they care about kinky sex… Is some porn gross? Yes. Should being gross make it illegal? Not in a free country, but obviously freedom’s fleeing these days.
    JMR

  22. Peabody, on a hopeful note, it’s also well known that AK has a good — if sometimes ribald — sense of humor. I hope he goes right on this one, but AK disappointed me on the Kelo land confiscation case. Hopefully, he has looked at the results since (nothing happened as promised) and he might reconsider. He’s STILL Reagan’s best appointment by a longshot.
    JMR

  23. Beastiality? I dunno if Judge K will go for that.

  24. Does the DVD case warn prospective viewers of the Bestiality contained within? ‘Cause if not, I wouldn’t blame an unsuspecting consumer for throwing up on himself or herself.

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