The Squirrels Are Watching

Life Experiences – An Example

Posted in Fact and Law by andrewfong on July 14, 2009

A follow up regarding the role of life experience in interpreting the law:

In Jacobellis v. Ohio, the Supreme Court examined whether a particular film violated obscenity laws. In his concurrence, Justice Potter Stewart famously wrote, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within [hardcore porngraphy]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.” (emphasis mine).

I humbly submit that the life experiences of Justice Stewart figured prominently in his knowing it when he saw it.

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