Supreme Court Case Miller V. California

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 330
  • Published : April 27, 2005
Open Document
Text Preview
There have been many Supreme Court cases that dealed with many concepts of the law, like obscenity for example. As a matter of fact, obscenity is a concept that Miller v. California deals with. To be more specific, this case deals with what is considered obscene, and if the specific obscenity mentioned in this case is protected by the first amendment, the freedom of speech. I will now explain this case in more depth.

What brought this case about?
In 1973, Marvin Miller, operator of one of the West Coast's largest mail-order businesses dealing in sexually explicit material, had conducted a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of illustrated books, which was known as "adult material". He was found guilty based on the fact that he violated California's penal code 311.2 by purposely distributing what was known as "obscene" material. Some people who have received the brochures that Miller sent complained that they did not request these brochures with sexual images on them. Miller was sent to trial and this case eventually reached the Supreme Court.

The Case and the Decision
The defense on Miller's side was that the obscene material that he sent should be considered as something protected under the first amendment. This resulted in a legal question: Was the sale and distribution of obscene materials by mail protected under the First Amendment's freedom of speech guaranteed? Well, according to the ruling of the Supreme Court, no, it was not. They stated that "obscene material is not protected by the First Amendment." This was a unique case that the Supreme Court encountered at the time, thus, they created the Miller Test for determining what was considered obscene.

What exactly is the Miller Test?
This test determined if a specific material or matter is considered obscene. It used 3 conditions to...
tracking img