I am having difficulty finding understandable information concerning the supreme court decision Miller v California.
My instructor wants a 4 page summary, a 2 page explanation of decision, a 1 page of affirmation ( I do not understand what this is) and 1 page of dissention.
This case is very difficult to understand I need assistance in what each of these catagories need to include.
I have a copy of the actual decision and it is difficult to understand the wording.
a 2 page explanation of decision,
The appellant, Marvin Miller, operator of one of the West Coast's largest mail-order businesses dealing in sexually explicit material, had conducted a mass mailing campaign to advertise the sale of illustrated books, euphemistically called "adult" material. He was found guilty by a California state court of having violated California Penal Code 311.2 (a), a misdemeanor, by knowingly distributing obscene matter. The conviction was affirmed by the Superior Court of California upon appeal. As stated in the preface to Chief Justice Warren Burger's majority opinion, the "Appellant's conviction was specifically based on his conduct in causing five unsolicited advertising brochures to be sent through the mail in an envelope addressed to a restaurant in Newport Beach, California. The envelope was opened by the manager of the restaurant and his mother. They had not requested the brochures and complained to the police."
According to the Court's decision, the materials in question "primarily ... consist[ed] of pictures and drawings very explicitly depicting men and women in groups of two or more engaging in a variety of sexual activities, with genitals often prominently displayed."
Since the Court's decision in Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957), the Court had struggled to define what constituted constitutionally unprotected obscene material. Under the common law rule that prevailed before Roth, articulated most famously in the 1868 English case Hicklin v. Regina, any material that tended to "deprive and corrupt those whose minds are open to such immoral influences" was deemed "obscene" and could be banned on that basis. Thus, works by Balzac, Flaubert, James Joyce, and D.H. Lawrence were banned based on isolated passages and the effect they might have on children. Roth repudiated the Hicklin test and defined obscenity more strictly, as material whose "dominant theme taken as a whole appeals to the prurient interest" to the "average person, applying contemporary community standards." Only material meeting this test could be banned as "obscene."
Hugo Black and William O. Douglas, First Amendment "literalists," chafed at the Roth test and argued vigorously that the First Amendment protected obscene material. In subsequent cases the Court encountered tremendous difficulty in applying the Roth test, which did not define what it meant by "community standards." For example, in the 1964 case Jacobellis v. Ohio, involving whether Ohio could ban the showing of a French film ...