Ron Paul
2002 Ron Paul Chapter 62

Child Obscenity And Pornography Prevention Act

25 June 2002

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2002 Ron Paul 62:1
Mr. PAUL. Mr. Speaker, as a parent, grandparent and OB–GYN who has had the privilege of delivering over 4,000 babies, I share the revulsion of all decent people at child pornography. Those who would destroy the innocence of children by using them in sexuallyexplicit material deserve the harshest punishment. However, the Child Obscenity and Pornography Prevention Act (H.R. 4623) exceeds Congress’ constitutional power and does nothing to protect any child from being abused and exploited by pornographers. Instead, H.R. 4623 redirects law enforcement resources to investigations and prosecutions of “virtual” pornography which, by definition, do not involve the abuse or exploitation of children. Therefore, H.R. 4623 may reduce law enforcement’s ability to investigate and prosecute legitimate cases of child pornography.

2002 Ron Paul 62:2
H.R. 4623 furthers one of the most disturbing trends in modern politics, the federalization of crimes. We have been reminded by both Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and former U.S. Attorney General Ed Meese that more federal crimes, while they make politicians feel good, are neither constitutionally sound nor prudent. Rehnquist has stated that “The trend to federalize crimes that traditionally have been handled in state courts . . . threatens to change entirely the nature of our federal system.” Meese stated that Congress’ tendency in recent decades to make federal crimes out of offenses that have historically been state matters has dangerous implications both for the fair administration of justice and for the principle that states are something more than mere administrative districts of a nation governed mainly from Washington.

2002 Ron Paul 62:3
Legislation outlawing virtual pornography is, to say the least, of dubious constitutionality. The constitution grants the federal government jurisdiction over only three crimes: treason, counterfeiting, and piracy. It is hard to stretch the definition of treason, counterfeiting, or piracy to cover sending obscene or pornographic materials over the internet. Therefore, Congress should leave the issue of whether or not to regulate or outlaw virtual pornography to states and local governments.

2002 Ron Paul 62:4
In conclusion, Mr. Speaker, while I share my colleagues’ revulsion at child pornography, I do not believe that this justifies expanding the federal police state to outlaw distribution of pornographic images not containing actual children. I am further concerned by the possibility that passage of H.R. 4623 will divert law enforcement resources away from the prosecution of actual child pornography. H.R. 4623 also represents another step toward the nationalization of all police functions, a dangerous trend that will undermine both effective law enforcement an constitutional government. It is for these reasons that I must oppose this well-intentioned but fundamentally flawed bill.

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