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"Eric Holder, ‘Porn Facilitator'? 'Dirty' List Highlights Lull In Obscenity War"

on Friday, 05 April 2013. Posted in Front Page Headline, Media Updates

Huffington Post

Forget big banks. In the eyes of one conservative group, Attorney General Eric Holder has failed in his duty to take down big porn.

Morality in Media put Holder at the top of its “Dirty Dozen List” of “top pornography facilitators” this week, placing the nation’s leading law enforcement official in the company of Comcast, Facebook, the American Library Association, Twitter, Wikipedia and even the Department of Defense.

“Holder’s actions keep the porn industry thriving,” Patrick A. Trueman, president of Morality in Media, said in a press release. “He not only refuses to enforce obscenity laws currently on the books that prohibit the distribution of hardcore pornography, but he even disbanded the office charged with enforcement.”

Trueman, who headed the DOJ’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section until 1993, is referring to Holder’s 2011 decision to shut down the Obscenity Prosecution Task Force, which was formed in 2005. Obscenity prosecutions dropped during the Clinton administration after Trueman left the department. The Obama administration hasn’t brought a new obscenity case since taking office in 2009, and during the Bush administration, Trueman acknowledges, obscenity prosecutions were at relatively low levels.

Trueman had some hope that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would reverse that trend, with his team promising it would crack down on porn during the presidential campaign. But while some politicians, including a handful of Democrats, have called on the DOJ to step up prosecutions of adult pornography, First Amendment advocates are just fine with the lull.

“It’s tough to imagine a bigger waste of taxpayer money than using limited prosecutorial resources to target porn depicting legal acts between consenting adults,” wrote Think Progress.

Larry Walters, a First Amendment lawyer who has represented the adult industry, told HuffPost that enforcing obscenity laws didn't seem to be a priority for the Obama administration. "I suspect that is based largely on public sentiment,” he said. “We’ve become much more tolerant of exotic material as a society in the United States, as has much of the world with the ready access of erotic material and explicit material on the Internet.” ...

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