A report on Obscenity and Roth v. United States

Cover of an undated American edition of Fanny Hill, c. 1910
The 18th century book Fanny Hill has been subject to obscenity trials at various times (image: plate XI: The bathing party; La baignade)

Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), along with its companion case Alberts v. California, was a landmark decision of the Supreme Court of the United States which redefined the Constitutional test for determining what constitutes obscene material unprotected by the First Amendment.

- Roth v. United States

Roth Standard (1957): "Whether to the average person applying contemporary community standards, the dominant theme of the material, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest". Roth v. United States 354 U.S. 476 (1957) - overturned by Miller

- Obscenity
Cover of an undated American edition of Fanny Hill, c. 1910

3 related topics with Alpha


Miller v. California

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Miller v. California, 413 U.S. 15 (1973), was a landmark decision of the U.S. Supreme Court modifying its definition of obscenity from that of "utterly without socially redeeming value" to that which lacks "serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value".

California lawmakers wrote the statute based on two previous Supreme Court obscenity cases, Memoirs v. Massachusetts and Roth v. United States.

Memoirs v. Massachusetts

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Memoirs v. Massachusetts, 383 U.S. 413 (1966), was the United States Supreme Court decision that attempted to clarify a holding regarding obscenity made a decade earlier in Roth v. United States (1957).

Hicklin test

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The Hicklin test is a legal test for obscenity established by the English case Regina v Hicklin (1868).

Finally, in 1957, the Supreme Court ruled in Roth v. United States, that the Hicklin test was inappropriate.