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June 18, 2018

Note: Justice Talking's grant funding expired in 2008 and the project has been closed. This website is an archive of the entire run of Justice Talking shows through June 30, 2008.
It is no longer being maintained. We apologize for any stale or broken links.
Featured Program

Eye of the Beholder: Art, Obscenity, and Censorship
Last Featured: 7/31/2001

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Note: Justice Talking ceased production on June 30 of 2008. Link information on this site is not maintained and is provided for historical interest only. Although correct when posted, The Annenberg Public Policy Center makes no claim as the the accuracy or continued availability of any third party web links found on this site.

New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani denied funding for the Brooklyn Museum and provoked an outcry from art lovers and First Amendment advocates. The controversy began when the Museum included in its recent show a painting of the “Holy Virgin” that uses elephant dung and other representations that Giuliani found offensive. Does our Constitution protect offensive speech and do taxpayers have to foot the bill when artworks go beyond what some find appropriate?

Dr. John Agresto is the President of St. Johns College in Sante Fe, New Mexico, a small, classical liberal arts college in the great books tradition. Dr. Agresto is a consultant who helps colleges reassess their academic programs and improve their liberal arts curricula. During the 1980s, he was the Assistant, Deputy, and Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities. He is the author and editor of numerous books and articles including, The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy and Liberty and Equality under the Constitution. John Agresto has a Ph.D. in Government from Cornell University.

Marjorie Heins is an Individual Project Fellow with the Open Society Institute where she is writing a book tracing the cultural and legal history of censorship laws aimed at protecting minors. Heins is the former Director & Counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union Arts Censorship Project. She has litigated such notable First Amendment cases as: Reno v. ACLU, the challenge to the 1998 Communications Decency Act, and National Endowment for the Arts v. Finley, a challenge to the requirement that government arts grants comply with general standards of decency. A graduate of Harvard Law School, Heins is the author of several books including, Sex, Sin, and Blashemy: A Guide to America's Censorship Wars.

Closing Quote
"Art is in the process of redefining our relationships to each other. The creative minds are bubbling, bubbling and I know the soup that's coming up next time is going to feed a lot more of us."

— Ruby Dee

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Special Announcements
Justice Talking’s last broadcast & podcast was June 30, 2008.
Brooklyn Museum of Art
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
The Creative Coalition
Thomas Jefferson Center for the protection of Free Expression
The Brennan Center
The Freedom Forum
The American Civil Liberties Union
National Campaign for Freedom of Expression
The National Coalition Against censorship
The ACLU Friend of the Court Brief
Not in Front of the Children : Indecency, Censorship, and the Innocence of Youth
by Marjorie Heins
Unsettling Sensation : Arts Policy Lessons from the Brooklyn Museum Art Controversy (The Public Life of the Arts Series)
by Lawrence Rothfield
Visionaries and Outcasts: The NEA, Congress, and the Place of the Visual Arts in America
by Michael Brenson
Justice Talking Tackling Tough Issues
Justice Talking Through the Years
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