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2d 1113 (1982)
Facts: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. —The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution A New York child pornography law prohibited persons from knowingly promoting sexual performances by children under the age of sixteen by distributing material which depicts such performances. Paul Ferber, the proprietor of a Manhattan bookstore specializing in sexually oriented products sold two films to an undercover police officer. The films are devoted almost exclusively to depicting young boys masturbating. Ferber was indicted on two counts of Sec. 263.10 and two counts of Sec. 263.15, the two New York laws controlling dissemination of child pornography. After a jury trial, Ferber was acquitted of the two counts of promoting an obscene sexual performance, but found guilty of the two counts under Sec. 263.15 which did not require proof that the films were obscene. Ferber argued that the 1st Amendment guaranteed the right to free speech, and that included kiddie-porn. Ferber argued that under the standard given in Miller v. California (413 U.S. 15 (1973)), his books were not obscene because they had some artistic value. Therefore the New York law was unconstitutional. Issue: Whether or not the Sec. 263 is unconstitutional? Held: No. In the Court's first examination of a statute specifically targeted against child pornography, it found that the state's interest in preventing sexual exploitation of minors was a compelling "government objective of surpassing importance." The law was carefully drawn to protect children from the mental, physical, and sexual abuse associated with pornography while not violating the First Amendment. Obscenity is not covered by the 1st Amendment at all because it is not considered to be ‘speech’. In this case, the Court found that even things that could be considered ‘speech’ (because they arguably had artistic merit) could still be censored, as long as the censoring served a compelling government interest.