American Booksellers v. Hudnut/Concurrence Swygert

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Court Documents
Case Syllabus
Opinion of the Court
Concurring Opinion
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SWYGERT, Senior Circuit Judge, concurring.

I concur in Parts I, II, and III of the court's opinion except for the following strictures. Although raised in the district court, neither ripeness nor abstention was made an issue on appeal. Given that fact, I believe both are pseudo-issues and this court need not treat them sua sponte. True, some of the intervenors have discussed abstention in their briefs; but we are without the benefit of the views of the real parties at interest in this case on either issue. More importantly, a discussion and resolution of these issues are quite unnecessary to the disposition of this appeal.

I also believe that the majority's questionable and broad assertions regarding how human behavior can be conditioned by certain teachings and beliefs (see ante, slip op. at 10-12-13) are unnecessary. For even if this court accepts the City of Indianapolis' basic contention that pornography does condition unfavorable responses to women, the ordinance is still unconstitutional.

As to Part IV of the opinion, I agree that the ordinance is unconstitutional on first amendment grounds and that there is no need to discuss vagueness or prior restraint. I do, however, disassociate myself from the extensive statements with respect to how the Indianapolis City Council could fashion an ordinance dealing with pornography that might pass constitutional muster. Indianapolis has asked us to sever the ordinance and save those parts that are not unconstitutional, if we can. All then that this court is required to do is to rule that the ordinance is not severable. Statements regarding which portions of the ordinance may be constitutional are merely advisory and are not the function of this court.