Thursday, January 08, 2009

Now That's Heartwarming

I've never been a fan of the Supreme Court's obscenity jurisprudence, but I'll admit it's been good for some laughs. Before the Court went with the "community standards" test, it basically had to pass on the obscenity of works of art on a work-by-work basis. It led to lots of late nights in the court house, as recounted in The Brethren (via Volokh):

During his later years, Harlan [who was by then nearly blind -EV] watched the films from the first row, a few feet from the screen, able only to make out the general outlines. His clerk or another Justice would describe the action. 'By Jove,' Harlan would exclaim. 'Extraordinary.'
I'd heard that story before, but wasn't sure if it was apocryphal or not. The comedy writes itself!

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