Golden Gate University Law Review


Jim McCormick


The tactic of including sound recordings in "harmful to minors" statutes is perhaps the most promising solution to the resilient problem of explicit music lyrics. Although the Washington law was found unconstitutional, many states have successfully included sound recordings in their own "harmful to minors" statutes. To appreciate this development, a legal and factual background must be discussed. Part II of this Comment summarizes the development of obscenity standards for minors in U.S. First Amendment law. Part III discusses some historic clashes between obscenity law and music. The Washington "Erotic Lyrics" Amendment and its constitutional problems are the subject of Part IV. Finally, Part V details how other states have codified some "sound recordings" as materials "harmful to minors."