In a puritan streak, Harvard University has forced several student groups who were planning on hosting a "Barely Legal" party to change the name -- or they otherwise couldn't hold the party, according to the Harvard Crimson and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE). (Disclosure: Free For All writer Harvey Silverglate is Chairman of the Board of Directors of FIRE.
This morning, the Supreme Court ruled that a law that outlaws promoting or advertising -- "pandering" -- child pornography is constitutional and does not interfere with First Amendment freedoms. In the case, United States v. Williams, decided 7-2, the justices declared that there is no free speech right that protects "offers to provide or requests to obtain child pornography," even if (in fact) there is no pornography to be provided.
What is it about pornography that drives sane people crazy? And by "people," I mean law enforcement agents, legislators, and judges, in particular. This week the Supreme Court turned down an appeal from an Arizona man who was sentenced to a mandatory 200 years in prison merely for downloading child porn. Morton Berger was prosecuted for 20 seperate counts of sexual exploitation of a minor for possessing (and by possessing, they mean downloading) 20 images of child porn (and by child porn, they mean "any visial depiction in which a minor is enagged in exploitative exhibition or other sexual conduct."