Although child pornography is a scourge, we opposed a piece of legislation that carves out a new exception to the First Amendment criminalizing the possession or display of vaguely defined “child erotica” when used for the “specific purpose of sexual gratification . . . from viewing the visual portrayals.” The distribution or display of constitutionally protected conduct cannot be elevated to a criminal offense solely because of how the person viewing it reacts, yet this bill will unconstitutionally subject individuals to punishment based on a prediction of how they respond to certain types of protected speech. Unfortunately, the bill passed. A letter that we sent to the Governor urging his veto is attached below.
Child Erotica (H 5614 A, S 502 A)
Representative Thomas Noret and Senator John Burke