Hatch Says Justice Department Does Too Little On Obscenity


Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch wants the federal government to take stronger action against obscenity, says the Salt Lake Tribune. Republican Hatch pressed U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder this week to prosecute the makers and distributors of more ubiquitous hard-core images, which account for a major percentage of what is available online and elsewhere. The Justice Department practice of prosecuting “only the most extreme obscene materials,” says Hatch, seems to be having little impact. Hatch also was frustrated by the lack of action during the presidency of George W. Bush.

Holder seemed unmoved at a hearing this week, saying, “We will certainly enforce the laws with the limited resources that we have and go after those cases that I think — as we always do — have the potential for the greatest harm.” In 2005, Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales created an obscenity prosecution task force and named Brent Ward, a former U.S. Attorney for Utah, to head it. The American Bar Association reported in 2008 that the task force prosecuted only 10 cases in its first three years.

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