Federal Communications Law Journal

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Publication Citation

64 Federal Communications Law Journal 177 (2011)


In United States v. Stevens, the United States Supreme Court invalidated a federal statute criminalizing the interstate sale and distribution of depictions of animal cruelty on First Amendment grounds. While Stevens demonstrates the Court's reluctance to create a new category of speech outside of First Amendment protection, Stevens also stands for the proposition that borrowing the exceptions clause from the Court's obscenity standard will not adequately protect a statute from invalidation as overbroad. This Note discusses the use of the obscenity standard's exceptions clause in nonobscenity statutes and the Court's treatment of the exceptions clause in Stevens. This Note concludes that precise exceptions clauses still serve the important function of protecting statutes from invalidation as unconstitutionally overbroad.