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Miller Test

It has been long established that obscene materials lack the protections afforded by the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and freedom of the press and thus are susceptible to government regulation. Yet defining obscenity has proved elusive. In Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), the U.S. Supreme Court developed a universal standard to be applied to assess whether specific materials constituted obscenity and were thus subject to government regulation. Quoting from the Court’s 1957 decision in Roth v. United States, which addressed the definition of obscenity, the Court in the Miller ruling developed a three-prong test, commonly referred to as the Miller test. The Miller test held that specific materials might be deemed obscene based on:

  • (a) whether “the average person, ...
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