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The ACLU: No Pedophile Left Behind

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From Ravings of John Bambenek

The case is New York Vs Ferber, 458 U.S. 747. The ACLU in an amicus brief to the Supreme Court argued that the possession of child pornography should be legalized. Twilight of Liberty summarizes:

“The ACLU’s position is this: criminalize the production but legalize the sale and distribution of child pornography. This is the kind of lawyerly distinction that no one on the Supreme Court found convincing. And with good reason: as long as a free market in child pornography exists, there will always be some producers willing to risk prosecution. Beyond this, there is also the matter of how the sale of child pornography relates either to free speech or the ends of good government. But most important, the central issue is whether a free society should legalize transactions that involve the wholesale sexploitation of children for profit.” ACLU objects to the idea that porn movie producers be required to maintain records of the ages of its performers; this would be “a gross violation of privacy.”

To the ACLU, violating an 8 year old on tape is bad, but to support the production of that tape by buying it is ok. Needless to say the Supreme Court rejected this obvious stupidity, but it makes it clear that this organization doesn’t see a problem with supporting the child porn industry because legal regulations would be a “gross violation of privacy.”

Sounds like Planned Parenthood’s arguments when covering up for child rape. We would hate for the privacy of pedophiles to be violated, after all. That’s much more important than protecting kids.

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About John Doe

A political activist and security expert.
  • Nancy

    I believe the difference is that Planned Parenthood bases their argument on the statistics (can’t remember the exact figure, it’s available on the PP website) that a significant percentage of rapes, sexual abuse, and pregnancies are perpetrated by parents/step parents, siblings, or other relatives, with the tacit connivance or denial by other adults in guardian positions, and requiring girls to get parents’ permission is in too many cases which have been documented, counter productive if not sadistic. You’re pregnant, and you gotta notify your rapist you want an abortion? Nice.

    However, I do agree I can’t figure out the ACLU. Sometimes they stick up for vital rights, but more often it seems they’re out pushing nutty, insane, screwed up propositions on behalf of persons who should be locked up to begin with. They don’t seem to have a sense of reality or proportion.

  • Ok, I’ll bite. First, there are exceptions in most every parental notification statute for extreme circumstances, we’ll skip past that.

    If you are a parent and raped your kid and the kid got pregnant, wouldn’t you WANT the kid to have an abortion with no questions asked? That is, after all, the only physical evidence that persists after a few days (i.e. the unborn child). I would rather when a 12 year old gets inpregnated by their parents that the police get involved instead, that deals with the REAL problem here, the pedophile, not the pregnancy.

    But the ACLU can be all over the map…

  • This is undoubtedly raving because it certainly has accuracy problems.

    First, the brief in this 1982 decision was not filed just by the ACLU. Among the 10 organizations on the brief were the American Booksellers Association, the Association of American Publishers, the Freedom to Read Foundation, the National Association of College Stores, the Association of American University Presses and St. Martin’s Press.

    Second, the brief expressly states that the organizations filing it “recognize that certain sexually explicit speech, if found obscene, is not protected First Amendment expression.” The question addressed by the brief was whether the statute encompassed non-obscene material.

    Third, neither the case nor the statute it addresses has anything to do with requiring the porn industry “to maintain records of the ages of its performers.”

    Finally, the brief does not say that legal regulation of pornography is a “gross violation of privacy”. In fact, not only does it never use that phrase, the brief never makes the argument that the statute violates anyone’s privacy.

    But I guess the truth is irrelevant when you’re raving.

  • Signaling out the ACLU for its support of that amicus is not a problem of accuracy. Everyone knows the ACLU, I have heard briefly of maybe two of those other organizations. The point wasn’t their amicus, the point was the ACLU support of pedophiles. I don’t need to mention every other organization for that point to not be accurate.

    The ages of the performers is from the source “Twilight of Liberty”, I did not check their footnoting.

    The gross violation of privacy is my words, not their words.

    I can pull out their defenses of organizations like NAMBLA if you like.

    What’s your position here? That the ACLU thinks child porn is good or bad?

  • I imagine that the ACLU thinks that free speech is good and that banning any kind of porn is a first step to further censorship, so they want to make sure it gets nipped in the bud as a matter of principle.


  • JJ

    So, a pedophile’s free speech rights supercedes the rights of children not to get raped?

  • Patriot

    What the ACLU would like to have proposed as Article 1 of the Bill of Rights in 1789:

    Article 1. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or of the right to publish pornography, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

    Now I would like to know what would have happened if the above was proposed by the ACLU to the Founders of this Country…

    How many Founders would have signed up?

  • Bambi, I’m pretty sure there are plenty of laws against raping children which don’t fall under first amendment protection.


  • My bad… as long as you are making a tape of the rape, then it’s all legal.

  • No, Bambi. The acts are illegal no matter what. The question for the ACLU is whether the tape itself is inherently illegal since the tape is an innanimate object that does no actual harm in and of itself. I imagine they’d agree that the tape could be used as evidence of the crime, though.

    From the ACLU perspective what you’re saying is that the security tape at a convenience store should be banned if it contains a recording of a robbery? Bad news for COPS.


  • Because COPS is analogous to child porn how?

    You buy the tape, you financial support the child being raped on the tape… it’s not a stretch.

  • bhw

    The question for the ACLU is whether the tape itself is inherently illegal since the tape is an innanimate object that does no actual harm in and of itself.

    It certainly does do harm if you’re the child on the tape and it’s a tape of a crime being perpetrated against you. The child doesn’t have the legal standing to give permission for the sexual act; therefore the child should be protected from having that act taped and legally traded.

  • What is
    Twilight of Liberty who provided the summary in the original post? There is no link or reference. Sounds like a wingnut to me.

    The ACLU most certainly does not want to legalize the sale of child porn. THere are dramatic consequences of this overreaching Ashcroft assault on the porn industry.

    All adult, sites are being affected. Sites that have nothing to do with children.

    From a thread wondering if yahoo adult groups are going to be affected:

    “Title 18, Section 2257 has just had a FINAL RULE described by the Attorney General Gonzales which goes into effect on June 23rd, 2005.

    This FINAL RULE now makes all webmasters who operate sites with adult content SECONDARY PRODUCERS. What that means is that all images that are on the site that depict sexual activity require the webmaster of that site to have on file proof of age of all models in the image. And that is for each and EVERY image.

    And the penalty for each infraction is 10 years in a FEDERAL PRISON. My prediction…. Yahoo will be closing all the adult sites on June 22nd, 2005 because they could be pulled into the SECONDARY PRODUCER position.”


    Comment 2 from this thread shows how adult webmasters who have nothing to do with child pornography are all up in arms about it, many of them moving out of country, scores of old images, movies and art/erotica from the past are being destroyed if it has no model release.


    And adult fetish sites that have nothing to do with children are already closing their doors because of this puritan mentality spreading across the land.

    You’d never believe it by a post titled ‘no pedophile left behind’, but it’s really not about the children at all. Never has been. Of course the ACLU gets it, thank God.

  • Nancy

    A bunch of nit-picking damned lawyers dancing on the head of a pin…. Real, human, physical/mental/emotional pain is being suffered by the victims, and they’re concerned with abstracts, which they will be happy to argue forever. Meanwhile, the victim dies of old age, unaddressed. Shakespeare’s conspirators were right: first, we need to kill all the lawyers.

  • Bambi: “Because COPS is analogous to child porn how?”

    Both depict the performance of a criminal act.

    Bambi: “You buy the tape, you financial support the child being raped on the tape… it’s not a stretch.”

    If the child pornographer who produced the tape has been arrested he will never profit from it, therefore you’re not benefiting or supporting his activities.

    Please keep in mind here that I’m only trying to explain the ACLU’s reasoning, not necessarily something I agree with.

    BHW: “It certainly does do harm if you’re the child on the tape and it’s a tape of a crime being perpetrated against you. The child doesn’t have the legal standing to give permission for the sexual act; therefore the child should be protected from having that act taped and legally traded.”

    I think the ACLU would argue that this is a cause for civil litigation rather than criminal, but sometimes their logic is indeed a bit twisted and hard to follow.

    I think Steve S. has the gist of why the ACLU is involved in this – they want to nip the entire process of censorship in the bud, and while they may not support child pornography they see banning it as the first step in massive 1st amendment violations.


  • Dave-

    Ask anyone would they rather be raped or would they rather be robbed.

    There is a simple solution, move overseas. Then people buy the tapes overseas and there is no crime (assuming you pick the country right). Then it becomes all legal.

    Any reasonble person would agree that SOME censorship is ok. If I threaten to murder you, I can be prosecuted for that. Does it infringe on my free speech rights? You bet. But your right to life is more important.

    The difference between COPS and child porn is also that in COPS they may depict a crime, but the point is to depict the criminal being busted for the crime. The point of child porn is for sickos to masturbate to pictures of 8 year olds.

  • Duck Goes


  • Blue Sky

    This is ridiculous, I feel like some people don’t recognise the relative levels of importance concerning free speech and the protection of children. You have to work out which is more essential to protect, and it seems obvious to me that it should be children. That’s not to say that I believe we have the right to put tape on people’s mouths and leave them in silence, free speech is globally important too but it’s a case of priorities.