Posted: 13 Feb 2011 Last revised: 20 Aug 2013
Date Written: August 14, 2013
I introduce a model of community standards relevant to the judicial determination of obscenity. Standards are defined as subjective judgments restricted only by a simple reasonableness condition. Individual standards are aggregated to form the community standard. Several axioms reflect legal concerns. These require that the community standard (a) preserve unanimous agreements, (b) become more permissive when all individuals become more permissive, and not discriminate, ex ante, (c) between individuals and (d) between works. I show that any rule which satisfies these properties must be “similar” to unanimity rule. I also consider explore the relationship between the model and the doctrinal paradox of Kornhauser and Sager (1986).
Keywords: Obscenity, Community Standards, Axioms, Unanimity Rule, Aggregation, Doctrinal Paradox
JEL Classification: D70, D71, D72
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation