A report on Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it and Obscenity
The phrase was used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart to describe his threshold test for obscenity in Jacobellis v. Ohio.- I know it when I see it
Former Justice Potter Stewart of the Supreme Court of the United States, in attempting to classify what material constituted exactly "what is obscene," famously wrote, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced ... [b]ut I know it when I see it...."- Obscenity
His concurring opinion in Jacobellis v. Ohio popularized the phrase "I know it when I see it."- Potter Stewart
In the obscenity case of Jacobellis v. Ohio (1964), Stewart wrote in his short concurrence that "hard-core pornography" was hard to define, but that "I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."- Potter Stewart
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Jacobellis v. Ohio0 links
Jacobellis v. Ohio, 378 U.S. 184 (1964), was a United States Supreme Court decision handed down in 1964 involving whether the state of Ohio could, consistent with the First Amendment, ban the showing of the Louis Malle film The Lovers (Les Amants), which the state had deemed obscene.
The most famous opinion from Jacobellis, however, was Justice Potter Stewart's concurrence, stating that the Constitution protected all obscenity except "hard-core pornography".
He wrote, "I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that."