Mike: It’ll be a couple of years before Rob Black stands trial.
Sirkin’s a smart lawyer. He is going to want a re-hearing in front of the whole court because he knows that win or lose, someone is going to take this to the Supreme Court.
That’s going to kill six to 8 months.
The full court can do what the three-judge panel could do: uphold the district judge or send it back for trial.
Either way, one or the other will appeal to the Supreme Court. I believe they’ll take it. That’s because it’s an interesting case with real constitutional questions:
Start with Sirkin’s basic position: under present law, we have a right ot privacy in our own homes, and thanks to that right, have the right to view obscene materials. At the same time, Sirkin says, it’s illegal to manufacture and distribute obscene materials. Constitutionally, that doesn’t make sense (By the way, your view and my view of Rob Black’s material are one and the same. Throw away the key).
But now it gets really really interesting. Conservatives think that Griswald V. Connecticut, the case that established the right to privacy (and it’s a right to privacy that allows Roe v. Wade to stand) was wrongly decided and that there is no explicit right to privacy in the Constitution. And, they think that under the constitution obscenity laws should be tougher.
So, this is a case that could explore:
1.) Do we have a right to privacy in our own homes, and if so, to what extent?
2.) If so, do we have a right to view vile obscene material like that which Rob Black produces?
3.) If so, are their limits to how obscene is the material? We know that you can’t view child pornography or snuff films, if they exist. But how far back can you draw the line?
4.) Once you’ve established the limits of what you can view, are their limits to what a production company can produce? Right now, the real limit seems to be that you can’t produce material where the act itself is a violation of the law — it’s illegal to have sex with a minor, whether it’s being filmed or not, so you can’t film it; it’s illegal to rape someone so you can’t film an actual rape; it’s illegal to maim or kill someone so you can’t do a snuff film. But are there other acts which you just can’t film because society is harmed as a result? Does the government have the right to determine that?
This is interesting stuff.
It really is and it certainly does appear destined to be the case that redefines obscenity in this country. I am with you that they will request an en banc hearing…they have nothing to lose from it and everything to gain.
I can’t stand Rob and personally I see him as little more than a coward but Lou Sirkin is without a doubt one of the best legal minds this country has…at least in terms of first amendment issues.
Punk Rob Black and Lizard To Stand Trial:
To no one’s surprise the third ciruit court of appeals voted to let charges against Black stand, overturning a previous ruling dropping the charges, Black’s options now are to request a full hearing from the whole third circuit court (this one was just a 3 judge panel) he may also try to get the Supreme Court to hear the argument or he may stand trial. There is no indication at this point which route Sirkin, Rob’s attorney, will take.
This particular case has polarized the adult industry in that many in the industry want to see Black in jail, many, including myself think that Black brought this on himself and has done his best to take the rest of us down with him.
Personally I think he should go to jail, although not for obscenity.
Rob is little more than a pimple on the ass of this industry, one we would all be better off without, but even at that nothing is all bad or all good….If the government fails to successfully convict Black the chances of them getting Hustler or Digital Playground or Vivid are remote indeed.