Miller v. California (1973) Definition

A U.S. Supreme Court decision that announced the controlling test for determining whether material is obscene. Material is obscene if an average person, applying contemporary community standards to the material as a whole, would conclude that it:

  • appeals to prurient (immodest or unwholesome) sexual interests, and
  • depicts or describes specifically defined sexual conduct in a patently offensive way.

In addition, the work, when judged as a whole, must be found lacking in serious scientific, literary, artistic, or political value.

Obscene material isn't protected by the First Amendment and can be banned or regulated.