A legal expert believes a proposed measure on pornography could set a precedent that the U.S. Supreme Court could use to deal with the issue once more.
Nearly four years ago, the Utah Legislature passed a resolution declaring porn to be a public hazard. Now the legislature has followed up with approval of a bill to force porn producers to attach a warning label to that effect to their content.
"It makes sense to label this kind of obscenity because we do so for movies," submits Mat Staver of Liberty Counsel. "We're familiar with the movie rating system. We're familiar with video games being rated for violence or extreme violence. We're also familiar with the FCC regulations that ban certain kinds of programs and before a certain hour of the evening to protect children."
And considering the fact that studies continue to reveal the harm pornography inflicts on society, Staver thinks it is reasonable to warn people that the material is a health hazard.
"It's one of the first kind that I remember in the entire country," he says about Utah's suggested measure. "It may be a trend that ultimately catches on, but we'll have to watch and see. No doubt this will be legally challenged."
But he says that might be a good thing because the country has needed the U.S. Supreme Court to dig further into the issue to provide better information on what is or is not protected by the First Amendment. It is one reason why the only prosecutions in recent years have been those involving in child pornography.