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Courts Reflecting Society


Fred Kaplan talks about “The Day Obscenity Became Art” – on the 50th anniversary of the day the courts declared that the Post Office may no longer confiscate or refuse to deliver “obscene” material. The day mail porn was possible. (A day irrelevant to the next generation who will probably think – WTF, why didn’t they just wait for the Internet?)

For many decades, the courts upheld racial segregation; then, suddenly, they didn’t. For many decades, the courts let the Post Office decide which books people could read; then, suddenly, they didn’t. In both cases, and many others that could be cited, the laws hadn’t changed; society did. And the courts responded accordingly.

And can you notice it happening in India as well? “Gay” is now decriminalised – but society had accepted it already. The law remains the same, the interpretation changes.

(Yes, this has nothing to do with finance or investing. Or maybe it does. But yeah, I digressed, sorry.)


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