Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

Article Title

Adult Entertainment and the First Amendment


This article gives Cambria the legal spotlight, at a time when conservatives control the White House and Congress, to discuss the never-ending tension between the First Amendment freedom of speech, which sometimes, although certainly not always, protects the $10 billion adult entertainment industry in the United States and the voices of censorship who would squelch such content. It is a tension that clearly affects many people, given the sheer popularity of sexually explicit speech and the mainstreaming today of adult content; sales and rentals of adult videos in 2002 totaled more than $4 billion, according to the Adult Video News...

In this article, Cambria discusses, from his perch as one of the nation's leading obscenity lawyers, a myriad of First Amendment-based issues including: (I) the continued viability of the obscenity test set forth by the United States Supreme Court in Miller v. California; (2) the regulation of so-called virtual child pornography; (3) his tactics in both selecting and arguing before juries in obscenity cases; (4) the zoning of adult entertainment establishments and the constitutionality of such efforts; (5) the so-called Cambria List of sexually explicit acts that often attract prosecutors' attention; (6) his beliefs about the intent and purpose of the First Amendment in a democratic society; and (7) his representation of, as well as relationship with, Larry Flynt during the last quarter of a century. Along the way, Cambria comments on the state of the adult entertainment industry and the way it has now become a part of mainstream society.