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ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens 406

Following up on the "sexting" case we've discussed in recent days, oliphaunt sends word from the Times-Tribune that a New Jersey federal judge has ordered the prosecutor not to file charges in the cases of three teenage girls whose cell phones were confiscated. "Wyoming [NJ] County District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. cannot charge three teenage girls who appeared in photographs seminude traded by classmates last year, a judge ruled Monday. US District Judge James M. Munley granted a request by the American Civil Liberties Union to temporarily stop Mr. Skumanick from filing felony charges against the Tunkhannock Area School District students."
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ACLU Wins, No Sexting Charges For NJ Teens

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  • by SirFozzie ( 442268 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:07PM (#27408727)

    TFS states that it's only a TEMPORARY halt to filing any charges on the teens

  • Accuracy? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by alexo ( 9335 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:16PM (#27408875) Journal

    Judge Munley ruled Mr. Walczak successfully met the standards necessary to issue a temporary order blocking Mr. Skumanick from filing charges against the three teens, including that they have demonstrated "a reasonable likelihood of success on the merits of their First Amendment claims." He also believed "no harm would come to (Mr. Skumanick) by delaying prosecution on this matter."

  • Reasoning? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nathan.fulton ( 1160807 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:18PM (#27408907) Journal
    often, the reason for a decision is just as (if not more than) important than the decision itself. I'm skeptical of whether or not this is a good thing in this case. While the judge does mention the first amendment, this little gem is in TFA:
    "Mr. Walczak has said it was clear the three girls were victims; they did not take or distribute the photos in question."

    Which means that this decision decided to ignore the issue of rather or not one can commit sex crimes against one's self. Which is kind of unfortunate.
  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:19PM (#27408939) Homepage

    Yeah, and based on the article I read earlier (my excuse for not RingTFA now) the basis for the judgement was that the pictures of the girls were not sexually explicit, not that charging the subject as in supposed victim of child pornography with life-devastating charges is an affront against the spirit of anti-child-porn laws and of justice itself.

    I suppose given the former there's no reason to rule on the latter, but still I really wanted this to be thrown out because the very concept of charging the girls whose photos were taken is insanely Kafkaesque.

  • by olddotter ( 638430 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:21PM (#27408949) Homepage
    This could get very ugly in the future. Lets just hope people REALLY think of the children, instead of using that as a political sound bite.
  • by rolfwind ( 528248 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:30PM (#27409093)

    We need to fire the retards in our government. Bush was a first good step. This prosecutor would be a good second.

  • by Greyfox ( 87712 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:32PM (#27409135) Homepage Journal
    Because they can't vote.
  • by huiwe ( 1292974 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:34PM (#27409157)

    The next step is to take action against those who deemed it protective of his charges to:

    1. access an electronic device without permission
    2. view personal images whose intended audience was limited to a chosen few (maybe one, not staff in general)
    3. fail to limit the negative impact on the life of his charges

    First step would be to seize the personal/work computers of the people involved to ensure copies of said photos has not been taken.

    At a minimum a transfer to a job where the people he responsibility for are only one pay grade below him, power trippers must be stopped and they hate that.

  • Goddamn DA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by GF678 ( 1453005 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:36PM (#27409171)

    No, strike that - fucking overzealous DA.

    He was willing to ruin the lives of these kids, and for what?

    It's shit like this that makes the rest of the world shake their heads with pity at the US.

  • by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:40PM (#27409207)
    It's a rather curious way to proceed - the ACLU has sued the DA in a federal court in order to prevent him from filing charges. I didn't realize something like that would even be possible. Clearly the kids need protection from this DA though. From another article [wcexaminer.com]: Parents were told their teens could avoid prosecution if they agreed to participate in a five-week program Skumanick developed with the county probation office and county's Victims Resource Center. Frankly - sounds to me like this pervert is looking for an excuse to humiliating some pretty young girls. "Give me your kids to torment or I'll add them to the sex offender registry".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:42PM (#27409237)
    Unfortunately we didn't really fire Bush until he had to quit anyway, after passing up the chance in 2004.
  • Re:Reasoning? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grishnakh ( 216268 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:54PM (#27409371)

    If a 2 year old hands you a photo of themselves posing naked on a bear skin rug, should said 2 year be arrested for distribution of child porn and forced to register as a sex offender for the rest of their life?

    In the USA, yes. In a country with a sane legal system, no.

  • The right thing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by shadowghost21 ( 1433023 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @06:56PM (#27409403)
    It seems that a lot of people are suing/pressing charges for just about anything and everything these days. Its a shame when it comes to try and press charges on teenage girls for taking photographs of themselves. While I do not agree with what they were doing, it was in there power. They were not being forced against their will or doing anything sexually explicit. That is the definition of child pornography. Its good to see that the court has some sense.
  • by Seth Kriticos ( 1227934 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:01PM (#27409459)
    Just asking. I mean, the girls were dragged though court for a year now, publicly embarrassed and probably get a psychic damage for lifetime just because they dared to send some pictures of themselves. And now the court says: "OK, so you were right, sorry for the bother, have a good life."? So everything is fine now as justice is served? Am I the only one who finds this picture a bit awkward?
  • by Hatta ( 162192 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:08PM (#27409571) Journal

    the basis for the judgement was that the pictures of the girls were not sexually explicit

    Now that these pictures have been ruled not sexually explicit, where can I get a copy?

  • by MozeeToby ( 1163751 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:11PM (#27409599)

    My theory: Having children leads to the end of all meaningful morality.

    Morality is defined by what a reasonable person in society says it is. When people have children they are no longer reasonable, their genes don't let them be. It is paramount that a person's children be protected from any and all harm and given every advantage possible; because of this, parents can no longer judge what is in the best interest of society.

    I wish I could say I was joking more than I am. Unfortunately, I've had this conversation with someone before. Them: "You don't want universal healthcare, the quality of your care will go down". Me: "What if I value everyone having care more important that some hypothetical reduction to my care?". Them: "You'll understand once you have children".

  • by GooberToo ( 74388 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:13PM (#27409617)

    Pretty scary stuff as the pictures described contain more clothing (a braw, which typically covers more than a bikini, and long pant pajama bottoms) as would otherwise be present at a lake or beach outing. If allowed to stand, anyone who has ever taken a picture while at the beach or lake is likely a child pornographer in the eyes of this idiot prosecutor. According to this idiot, the majority of the world is a child pornographer.

    It would be nice if this guy were to be beat over the head with wrongful and malicious prosecutions.

  • Re:Reasoning? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Asic Eng ( 193332 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:23PM (#27409743)
    Of course - children are by themselves pornographic. Any picture of them is pornography, any development of their sexuality is a crime. After all it could titillate a prosecutor and make him feel uncomfortable about himself.
  • by Jane Q. Public ( 1010737 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:24PM (#27409751)
    IANAL, and I don't know the legal basis for this, but ethically should we not be allowed to sue, or bring charges, against prosecutors who do patently ridiculous and abusive things?
  • by C_L_Lk ( 1049846 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:29PM (#27409801) Homepage

    Now if only the article was correct - this didn't take place in New Jersey, but Pennsylvania. FYI I went to this high school in the 90s. The girls were nothing to write home about. I still don't think they are - not much changes in farm country.

    I know the families of several of the involved in this case -- it just was yet another case of a DA trying to make a big name for himself with a "prize case" that would make nation attention and move him up the ladder in his career. He's a real ass clown.

  • Re:Reasoning? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:29PM (#27409805)

    You've obviously confused the US with a society that is comfortable with human sexuality.

  • selfishness (Score:3, Insightful)

    by circletimessquare ( 444983 ) <circletimessquare AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:35PM (#27409855) Homepage Journal

    witness the term "crotchfruit" and the way people who have kids are looked down upon

    and the general trend among all developed nations, not just the west, to stop having children

    they are just too messy, too much to bother

    of course, they are also your replacement after you are dead, but i guess that's a minor detail, somehow

  • by Calithulu ( 1487963 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:40PM (#27409911)

    Or... and I posit this entirely theoretically, it might be best if we take the approach that both the liberal and conservative viewpoints have some merit and we should work to create reasonable compromises in politics, government, and all laws.

    Of course, that's just me talking. But based on the rhetoric and vitriol we see regarding politics in the media, on the web, and in other venues I appear to be the last centrist.

  • by Chris Burke ( 6130 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:43PM (#27409965) Homepage

    Taking bribes, cooking the books, etc are all illegal. People caught doing it get sent to prison. What, do you want to make it illegaler?

    No he wants to eliminate the underlying cause of the corruption which is the profit motive. Yeah, yeah, there can still exist corruption, but the farther back you push it the more marginal the opportunity for profit and thus the more marginal the corruption itself. The TP supplier having a profit motive is infinitely better than having the prison have a direct profit motive itself, because the odds of a TP supplier coming out ahead bribing a judge to send a person to prison so they use some extra TP is slim.

  • by Toonol ( 1057698 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:51PM (#27410089)
    Hmm... or what you think is meaningful morality when you're childless turns out to be meaningless, after your enlightenment comes when you finally reproduce.

    Neither is true, of course, and those sorts of arguments are completely irrational in and of themselves; they're all variants of well-known logical fallacies. It can be pretty much cleanly disproven by the fact that there are childless individuals, and people with children, on both sides of the argument.

    I love my children very much, and I am terrifically concerned about their future. Most of what I do is for the children. I do indeed 'think of the children.' That means that I would hate to see their human rights abrogated over a non-issue like a flirtatious picture. Concern for children isn't the problem; that's a good thing. Irrational and misplaced concern is the problem.
  • by meringuoid ( 568297 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:52PM (#27410101)
    But for some reason we're still supposed to look at the ACLU as evil?

    As I understand the argument put forward by our more reactionary friends, they would like the ACLU more if they also duplicated the work of the NRA. Presumably that organisation doesn't fulfill its remit to their satisfaction, and they'd like the ACLU to lend a hand?

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @07:57PM (#27410167) Journal

    >>>sounds to me like this pervert is looking for an excuse to humiliating some pretty young girls.

    Sounds to me like he's a religious type, and he sees an opportunity to impose his Judeo-christian values onto the citizens. He likely thinks nudity is a horrible, horrible sin deserving of punishment and hopes to scare other people from being nude. Or having sex. Or fun. There's no tyrant worse than a tyrant trying to "do good". I hate morality dictators.

  • by Rick Bentley ( 988595 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @08:11PM (#27410337) Homepage
    If sex crimes against one's self are illegal then I'm in big trouble. I regularly beat my dick as if it owes me money. I guess it's a good thing that it can't file a complaint...
  • the point is, it was made possible by republican/conservative ideology: privatize and deregulate everything, even things that shouldn't be dergulated and privatized. like utilities, prisons, the stock market

  • by IndustrialComplex ( 975015 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @09:05PM (#27410827)

    Thanks for the math contribution. Where would we be without your mad skills?

    You'll surely note that I said my case had five different court appearances and the GP's had one. Hence I think my question was valid. Now bugger off unless you have something meaningful to say.

    Depends on your case. I spent thousands on lawyer fees before and never saw the inside of the courtroom or was subject to charges. Of course, that was the point. I know that if there was anything that might land me on the sex offender registry, I'd lawyer up like you wouldn't believe.

  • This REALLY needs to be decided on Constitutional grounds. A little research will show that these sorts of threats and even charges are becoming commonplace against teens. This is one reason this needs to go to trial. Let's send a CLEAR message to prosecutors that this is fundamentally a violation of teens' protected speech and outside the (narrow) child pornography exception.

    Note that in other cases obscenity charges are used. However, this poses extremely problematic issues as well. Normal obscenity law depends on a jury to decide a relevant contemporary community standard. Since there are no jury trials in juvenile court, the judge gets to decide what is obscene and what is not and thus IMO this makes the law as applied to juveniles unconstitutionally vague (because a judge alone decides matters in what would fundamentally be an arbitrary way).

  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:38PM (#27411507) Homepage

    No. They're hypocrites because they call themselves the American Civil Liberties Union but then turn around and work AGAINST the foundational civil liberty itself.

    Dont get me wrong, for the most part, I like what they do. I've marched with them, helped with fund-raising, signature drives, etc. I had the pleasure of a few long discussions with the state director where I lived before, and he was a really good guy, as well as a really sharp lawyer. That combination is sadly very rare, and I was really glad to have him as an ally in the fight for reproductive freedom at the time. They do a lot of good work.

    But they're still absolutely hypocrites because they dont just refuse to help in the very most critical class of civil liberties violation, they *actually* go so far as to take the totally insane position the GP quoted. It's not only a position fundmentally baneful to everything they do try to achieve, it's also one that's legally and historically indefensible (as several ACLU lawyers have admitted to me, in private) and so it really does reflect the essential hypocrisy of the leftist millieu so many ACLU supporters come from, and reflects I think a deeper line of hypocrisy in society in general, because it (hypocrisy in general that is) is certainly NOT limited to left or right but a commmon element across both.

  • by jonberling ( 1256136 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:44PM (#27411545)

    > You'll understand once you have children

    Translation: Your argument is better then mine, so I'll claim you're not capable of understanding.

      - Someone with kids, who still doesn't understand all the irrational arguments he heard while in his 20's.

  • by cortesoft ( 1150075 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @10:50PM (#27411587)

    Hmmm.. I can understand an argument as to why the right to bear arms is a fundamental civil right, but there are many very good arguments as to why it isn't. I can see how you might not be swayed by them; but to deny that they exist is a bit intellectually dishonest.

    Do you think it is a fundamental right that I can possess, for example, a bomb large enough to destroy the city I live in? I can't imagine you think that... if you can accept that it is not a fundamental right to own that sort of weapon, it is only a matter of degree to argue that a fully automatic weapon, say, can be banned without violating civil rights.

    You might disagree with the argument, but you have to at least see how someone could disagree with your assessment.

  • by terrymr ( 316118 ) <terrymr&gmail,com> on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:32PM (#27411841)

    Dangerous ? His actions are unconstitutional - federal court is the right forum for that.

  • by Falconhell ( 1289630 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:51PM (#27411931) Journal

    I just dont understand this paticularly American love of gun ownership. In my country, all the auto and semi auto guns were removed from society years ago.

    I have not see any downside to this. Why are you so devoted to having weapons when it is obvious that you would never really use them to overthrow your government?

    I have never seen a gun in the possesion of anyone other than the police, or at a shooting range. I have never needed a gun for self defence either.

    Since the guns were removed there has not been one mass shooting here.

    One line seems to be that if guns are banned only criminals would have guns, but it simply does not make sense, lees guns in general means less guns available to criminals, our experience is certainly that is the case.

    Can anyone explain this strange (To me) love of weapons?

    Surely it is not really just overcompensation?

  • by misanthrope101 ( 253915 ) on Tuesday March 31, 2009 @11:58PM (#27411989)
    The ACLU has joined the NRA on gun rights cases before. However, part of the reason they routinely ignore 2nd amendment cases is because the NRA already has it covered. I have always found it odd that conservatives revile the organization that supports 90% of the bill of rights while championing the one that supports only %10 instead. Oddly, they say they do it because the ACLU doesn't support the 2nd amendment, ignoring the fact that the NRA ignores 90% of the bill of rights altogether.
  • by gillbates ( 106458 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @12:29AM (#27412187) Homepage Journal

    The problem isn't the shame associated with nudity. It's the reputation that's going to follow these girls throughout high school and college. When I was in middle school, one of the students found an issue of a certain men's magazine in which our illustrious teacher was baring all. She had posed during college because she needed the money, and yet, here, 15 or 20 years later, the centerfold was displayed on the chalkboard when she walked into the classroom. After everyone had been seated and seen it. She left the room in a fit of tears.

    While the article doesn't give any details, it's probably very likely that these pictures would have shown up on the internet had the authorities not intervened. Where they would like occupy someone's MySpace page or other social networking site. Once on the web, it's almost impossible to get something permanently removed.

    And this could easily have followed them the rest of their lives:

    • In high school, they'll probably have a reputation they never live down. I imagine they'll be called some rather nasty names, and the one who bared her chest will probably be asked to do it again... and again... and again...
    • In college, a Google search would likely turn up the pictures. Believe it or not, the kind of guys that girls want - i.e., the kind who are looking for a wife rather than a lay - won't be too impressed by said pictures floating around the internet. Not every guy wants the whole world to know what his wife looks like naked.
    • After college, it will be even worse. Perhaps she'll get hired as a teacher and experience an incident similar to the above; perhaps she'll land a job only to find a group of her male coworkers huddled around a monitor looking at pictures of her; perhaps she'll get fired when someone finds out.
    • Or perhaps she won't be able to find a job after college. If a university is willing to withhold someone's degree because they were a "drunken pirate" at a party, what would it do if nude pictures of their teaching candidates showed up with a Google search?

    The relative long memory of the internet gives what were once excusable mistakes long and far reaching effects. No, they should probably not have to register as sex offenders for the rest of their lives, but they should at least have to be educated with respect to the gravity of what they've done.

  • by el americano ( 799629 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @01:06AM (#27412349) Homepage

    It's odd that the prosecutor thinks he's doing nothing wrong. The judge clearly has problems with it:

    According to the Times, Judge Munley told Skumanick's lawyer, A. James Hailstone: "It seems like the children seemed to be the victims and the perpetrators here. How does that make sense?" State law "doesn't distinguish between who took the picture and who was in it," Hailstone was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

    He's actually trying to charge them as accomplices to "open lewdness", which is a misdemeanor. I had never heard of such a thing. The possible child pornography charge was just prosecutorial blackmail - standard operating procedure for almost any DA. I don't think it's a forgone conclusion that these laws would be found unconstitutional. The legislature needs to amend them from being applied in this way - although they typically only take action after a well publicized travesty of justice.

    In any case, I think you'd need this to be much more explicit to set the kind of precedent you want. A not-guilty will be good enough for me, and the children involved too, I'm sure.

  • by tftp ( 111690 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @02:44AM (#27412879) Homepage

    I just dont understand this paticularly American love of gun ownership. In my country, all the auto and semi auto guns were removed from society years ago.

    And here is why you don't understand - in your society you probably never had a chance to shoot at targets or hunt. Hard to miss something that you never experienced...

    Why are you so devoted to having weapons when it is obvious that you would never really use them to overthrow your government?

    First, weapons are owned and used because they represent power over others (animals and people.) In the USA such power is often needed against burglars who don't mind killing you and your family so that they can clean your house. In rural areas a gun is a necessary tool (!) to protect your cattle or your crops from predators and many ranchers have guns with them all the time - you don't drive a few miles away from your house, unarmed, to face a pack of wolves, or a overprotective wild pig, or a rabid mountain lion, or a rattlesnake. In the wild these should be let alone, but on your property they are a serious danger to you and your family.

    Secondly, ownership of weapons has historical roots. The USA is a young country, relatively, and much of its independence came out of bloody wars waged by armed people.

    Third, an unarmed person is a subject; an armed person is a citizen. There is a difference. It is true that a healthy modern government can't be overthrown by a bunch of rebels with muzzleloaders. However if the government becomes sick, the army will not fight [much] and the citizens will be first of all free, and also they will have to protect themselves. You don't want to defend yourself with a pillow if, during street riots, a gang of thugs breaks into your house. And those riots are not a fiction - they happen here on a regular basis.

    Fourth, shooting a weapon accurately is not easy, so it is a sport and a skill that can be learned. If you are ever in a survival situation then your ability to shoot food (or defend yourself) may be essential. The USA is very vulnerable, actually - high gas prices can destroy the economy in no time because there are almost no railways, so if trucks stop bringing goods into cities the cities will become, let's say, a bad place to be at. If the dollar falls the same will happen as well, since so few goods are now made within the USA. I can't say what are the chances of some calamity, but they are not zero.

    I have never seen a gun in the possesion of anyone other than the police, or at a shooting range. I have never needed a gun for self defence either.

    It's understandable that you never saw a gun in someone's home if it is nearly illegal. I haven't yet needed a gun for self-defense either, but the trick is that you'd better have it when you do need it.

    Since the guns were removed there has not been one mass shooting here.

    I bet if the government chops hands of all citizens off then there will be no stabbings either. Seriously, this is a political issue because many US citizens do not see the government as being above them - and armed police is clearly in the commanding position over unarmed populace. By the way, a crossbow is a weapon worse than many guns, and a typical longbow can be made by anyone, anywhere, out of many materials, and it's silent too. UK can give you many examples on knife crimes, now that the guns are out of the picture - and the bad part is that knife is seen as an a casual weapon, with lesser "use threshold" than a gun. Anyway, if there is a criminal mind there will be a crime.

    One line seems to be that if guns are banned only criminals would have guns, but it simply does not make sense, lees guns in general means less guns available to criminals, our experience is certainly that is the case.

    The case of Mexico is a shining counter-example - ownership of most guns is prohibited but the drug cartels have and use military weapons. The reason is that criminals are not concerned about those l

  • by shutdown -p now ( 807394 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @02:56AM (#27412933) Journal

    Or... and I posit this entirely theoretically, it might be best if we take the approach that both the liberal and conservative viewpoints have some merit and we should work to create reasonable compromises in politics, government, and all laws.

    Thing is, if you look at the spectrum of these things outside of your country - say, let's limit the set to other true liberal representative democracies - your "liberal" and "conservative" viewpoints are really "rather conservative" and "batshit fucking insane", respectively. Any "reasonable compromise" between them isn't going to be any more reasonable than either one of them, which really isn't a lot.

  • by Arker ( 91948 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @05:27AM (#27413527) Homepage

    I don't think that the issue is with the word regulated

    And we're agreed on that.

    I think that the issue is with with the fact that the wording basically means, "Because a ready militia is important, citizens may keep weapons." It opens up the reasonable line of argument that restrictions on weapons not used in militia service does not interfere with the reason for the right to bear arms.

    Sure, that's a reasonable argument in form, though your paraphrase is significantly and critically off so far as the amendment itself goes. But keep in mind that even if granted it's an implication as to the reasoning and not actually part of the operative section of the Constitution. Courts can and have taken cognizance of it in exactly that sense, in fact - it cannot change the operative clause but it can inform interpretations as long as those interpretations steer clear of actually contradicting the operative clause of the amendment. This was, in fact, precisely the reasoning when the Supreme Court upheld the ban on short-barreled shotguns, holding that they were not suitable for military use and hence their prohibition did not infringe the right to bear arms.

    But the consequences of that line of thought is diametrically opposed to the prevailing current of firearm legislation in the US - it means that, for instance, a law banning (or at least heavily "regulate") bolt action hunting rifles might stand a chance of passing constitutional muster but a similar law regarding fully automatic assault rifles is clearly unconstitutional.

    It's similar to, "Because people sometimes experience pain, possession of morphine shall be legal." It's not unreasonable to suggest that possession of morphine for purposes other than pain relief may be restricted without interfering with the original objective of the rule.

    It is very similar. And what you wrote very narrowly construed is true. This is in fact just what we do with freedom of speech for instance - there are narrowly defined cases where the state can regulate speech without infringing on freedom of speech, but only in very limited ways. The state can prevent you from holding a political rally at a particular time and place, for instance. In and of itself this does not infringe on your freedom of speech, assuming it passes a number of tests with a fairly high bar on them - they cant be acting partially, letting your opponent give his speeches but prohibiting yours, for instance. Show that the effect of their edict is to prevent your speech entirely, rather than simply to insist that you follow reasonable rules in regards to scheduling that everyone else is also held to, and you've made your case that they are infringing on your rights.

    So with your morphine example, you might come up with some odd corner cases out of it, but they would also have to pass rather strict tests - you couldnt actually make morphine illegal (that would violate the operative clause full stop) and you couldnt do anything that would reasonably be expected to interfere with the ability of a citizen experiencing pain to get their morphine. And if better pain relievers became available the next day, that wouldnt invalidate the law - it would only give you a good argument in favour of changing it.

    The book analogy in your link is hopelessly broken.

    An unsupported assertion with zero argument presented for it. The books analogy in the link is *precisely isomorphic* to the second amendment.

    A more accurate question would be, although we must allow books because education is necessary, are we allowed to restrict the use of books to educational purposes?

    More accurate than what? I think you lost the thread for a moment there. But the question you ask is clearly and unambiguously answered - if that language was in one of our constitutional amendments then the answer would be no,

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @05:52AM (#27413633)

    No, pornography should also be protected by the First Amendment. And it should be legal for anybody to make pornographic photos of themselves. They may be teenagers but they should still own their bodies.

  • by arekusu_ou ( 1344373 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @07:54AM (#27414213)

    Sending a message is fine. But the response needs to be proportional. You're going to label the poor misguided girl a sex offender for taking sexy pictures of herself? She can have sex like a grown woman but not give sexy pictures of herself to guys she like?

    This is like charging a 10 year old for felony larceny for stealing a candy bar, and getting him thrown in pound my ass prison. That'd teach him a lesson, he'd never steal a candy bar again.

    People do dumbass things, and its up to them to live with the normal consequences of their actions. Not make up random outrageous consequences to scare them.

  • by Archades54 ( 925582 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:46AM (#27414651)
    Pedos will get their jollies from pics in target adverts of the underwear, theres nothign sexual about a pic of a butt nekkid kid running around. Use to be a time where you could do art of a young child naked and no one thought twice about it but these days everything has some evil pedophilic link.
  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Wednesday April 01, 2009 @08:57AM (#27414751) Journal

    Also what's do horrible about acknowledging beauty? When I watch the Blue Lagoon, I think Brooke Shields looks gorgeous. Her male friend is rather beautiful too. Does the fact she's only 16 make me some kind of deviant? Is that child pornography?

    Only in the minds of people who are, themselves, mentally ill.

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato