Monday, Prof. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and founder of American Principles Project, sent a letter to Attorney General William Barr requesting clarification on the Department of Justice’s policy regarding obscenity laws. Specifically, Prof. George asked if the DOJ believes these laws could be used to regulate online pornography, given the increasing recognition of porn as a public health issue.
Following the letter’s public release, Prof. George also released the below statement:
“Attorney General William Barr has distinguished himself by his willingness to speak frankly about moral challenges threatening the common good of our nation. Among those challenges is the evil of pornography. Porn, however, is more than a moral issue. The porn industry’s exploitation of women makes it a threat to public safety. What’s more, in the age of the internet, porn addiction has become a public health scourge. I have therefore today written to General Barr to ask for clarification of Department of Justice policies regarding the enforcement of our existing laws against obscenity, and to call attention to the harms, including social harms, that should impel the Department to enforce these laws more systematically and vigorously.”
In December, four members of Congress also wrote to Attorney General Barr urging DOJ to prosecute illegal online pornography. You can read their letter here.