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But Do They Have to See It to Know It? The Supreme Court's Obscenity and Pornography Decisions

Timothy M. Hagle
The Western Political Quarterly
Vol. 44, No. 4 (Dec., 1991), pp. 1039-1054
DOI: 10.2307/448806
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/448806
Page Count: 16
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But Do They Have to See It to Know It? The Supreme Court's Obscenity and Pornography Decisions
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Abstract

Renewed interest in obscenity and pornography by governments, academics, and antipornography groups indicates the Court's decisions in this area deserve closer examination. Using the framework of cognitive-cybernetic theory, this study tests media impact on the Court in this area. Several studies have used multivariate analysis to explain Court behavior. This approach has been successful in studies focusing on general topics and in the area of search and seizure. This study also tests the applicability of using multivariate analysis combined with broad-based factors to explain the Court's behavior in a specific issue area. Results of probit estimations show the materials' media have little or no impact on the Court's decisions. A model with only three broadly based variables, however, accounts for 86 percent of the Court's decisions in this area.

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