Talk:Comstock laws

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It has been noted that zealous enforcement of the Comstock Law could have prevented the distribution through the U.S. Mail of the King James Verison of the Bible (which contains the word "piss" in several places). Rlquall 03:11, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC) i love you

Still enforced?[edit]

I would like to see actual evidence that these have been specifically enforced, since, say 1990.--Pharos 18:40, 25 March 2007 (UTC)

  • And FCC restrictions on broadcasted material on the public airwaves are an entirely different legal matter, not at all regulated by the Comstock Act of 1873.--Pharos 19:46, 25 March 2007 (UTC)
    • Look, you can't just make up legal history because you think different laws are similar in intent. The new laws only cover the airwaves, which are construed as public property, and the Comstock Act is not enforced at all.--Pharos 02:56, 26 March 2007 (UTC)
I dunno. On a local level, sometimes they or something very similar to them certainly are enforced. There was a case a couple years or so ago in Texas (wish I knew which one so I could cite it specifically, but I don't, I just recall it from news articles), for instance, where a comic book store owner was arrested for providing a single-chapter comic book magazine issue that was a translated hentai work and it was considered obscene by the arresting officer. The guy had it under the counter and only took it out to so much as show it let alone sell it if the person (in this case, an undercover cop) provided proof he was over 18, yet he was charged under obscenity laws and had to go to court over it (the prosecuter was kind of stupid in the way he tried to sway the jury, too, that old "everybody knows comic books are for kids" argument was in there somewhere, I recall that much). Wish I knew how that turned out or which case it was, but I recall it was definitely in Texas in the last few years, DEFINITELY past 1990; in fact, I'm just about absolutely positive the article I read was written in the 2000s, since I was linked to it online (I believe the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund got involved), and I wasn't online at all before 1999, and not seriously active on it until 2000 onward, and it was a recent story at the time.
And on a side note, please stop saying "[it] is not enforced at all". If there's no evidence or specific case citations that it has been, say that, but unless you have intimate knowledge of every single legal case ever since 1990, you can't say it definitively, now can you, you just have to say you don't know of any enforcements of it since (for instance) 1990. Sorry, that just bugs me a little, when people claim absolute, sure knowledge of something (such as whether or not a law that was applied across many, many states has been enforced "at all", i.e. including arrests and convictions on a local level that never went to higher courts... in the last seventeen years or more) that's too complex and vast a subject to even remotely be 100% knowledgeable on it. Please be careful how you put things like that, because you could very well be wrong, and for all you know it could discourage more in-depth research into the matter on the parts of some editors. :\ Runa27 (talk) 18:39, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

see no evil?[edit]

The portion of the first paragraph which reads "In addition to banning contraceptives, this act also banned the distribution of information on abortion for educational purposes following the ideal of "Hear no Evil, See no Evil"." seems to me to have a certain moral haze about it. If information on abortion is banned under Comstock legislation, then surely it isn't specifically in instances of educational purposes? And to extrapolate what ideal is being followed seems rhetorical at best.

Frankly, I read this as anti-choice rhetoric - maybe someone was prevented under obscenity law from mailing out those hideous images of stillbirth extractions that the radical Christian right like to pretend represent what abortion looks like (as though what it looks like has anything to do with whether it's okay)? The quoted line sounds like a complaint about something like that, rather than an even-handed description of what the law prohibits in particular.

I'm loath to edit it myself though, since I don't know much about law and even less about US law. Has anyone got some idea of how that line could be cleaned up and made to show less bias? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:48, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

Pulp fiction[edit]

Was this law applied to pulp fiction? I know magazines would come under it's purview, but was it ever used, apart from against porn and contraceptive advice as stated here? It is currently mentioned in the history of Homosexuality in science fiction as a reason that pulps were self-censoring. Would a gay character in a magazine story or novel count as "unmoral"? Any cases or other sources showing this?Yobmod (talk) 12:23, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

"United States v. One Package of Japanese Pessaries"[edit]

Is this the most poetically pleasing name for a court case in United States history? -- (talk) 09:26, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

"Lucifer the Lightbearer" Case[edit]

A competent editor - please see [third paragraph] for an example of this law being used to suppress public discussion of rape within marriage. Yes, it was in 1887, but I think it deserves mention in the article. (talk) 00:54, 19 April 2012 (UTC) public-spirited insomniac

So WP:BEBOLD, especially if you have some sources to support it. Zodon (talk) 03:42, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Where was Anthony Comstock's neighborhood really?[edit]

This page claims (unsourced):

"Anthony Comstock stated that he was determined to act the part of a good citizen, meaning that he had every intention of upholding the law. He started off by beginning a campaign against the saloons in his Brooklyn, New York neighborhood."

His bio page states (sourced) "Comstock lived in Summit, New Jersey from 1880 to 1915.[5] He built a house there in 1892 at 35 Beekman Road, where he died in 1915.[6]"

Might Comstock's jurisdiction as a United States Postal Inspector have been in Brooklyn? If he was USPI of a Brooklyn "neighborhood," one might expect that neighborhood to be named.

Dadofsam (talk) 17:22, 8 December 2015 (UTC)