Miller was mailing catalogs of
pornographic magazines to people. He was arrested and charged with
distributing obscene material under
The Trial Court found Miller
guilty. He appealed.
The Appellate Court upheld the
sentence. Miller appealed.
The US Supreme Court reversed.
The US Supreme Court found
that States have a legitimate interest in prohibiting dissemination of
exhibition of obscene materials
when the mode of dissemination carries a danger of offending unwilling
recipients or exposure to children.
The Court found that in
order to be considered obscene,
there is a three part test:
Whether "the average
person applying contemporary community standards" would find the
work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest.
Whether the work depicts or
describes, in a patently offensive way, sexual conduct specifically
defined by applicable State law.
Whether the work, taken as
a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific
That's more restrictive
than the previous standard of "utterly without redeeming social
value" the Court used in Memoirs v. Massachusetts (383 U.S. 413 (1966)).
This case defined the modern
standard for how to determine if something is obscene.