Will Dildos Rub Supreme Court The Wrong Way?

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In 1985, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the Texas legislature’s ban on “obscene devices,” which, one hopes, is the name of a really good band somewhere.

The legislature had banned not just the sale of these items, but also their advertising and, most awkwardly, “lending.” Eesh.

The Appeals Court had declared that the people of its state had “no constitutional right to ‘stimulate … another’s genitals with an object designed or marketed as useful primarily for that purpose.” The state (and the legislature) did not outlaw possession—it did, however, concur that the sale and advertisement of the sort of things people stick in other people and themselves should be illegal. And now you know why so many different types of products are advertised as “massagers.”

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