Few problems have plagued the courts in the last decade with greater persistence than those associated with obscenity. The concept of obscenity varies from place to place and from time to time, and since it is essentially a subjective concept, it also tends to vary from person to person. The development of a concept of "community standard" recognizes that diverse viewpoints exist and has resulted in the consideration by courts of the concept of obscenity in light of a local standard rather than a national one. It has also incidentally relieved the Supreme Court of the United States from consideration of obscenity matters on a case-by-case basis-an approach which has been neither practical nor possible for that Court to adopt.
The community standard, however, merely shifts the burden of inquiry. It is now the local trier of fact, either judge or jury, which must consider this question in the light of local factors.
Rubin, Carl B. and Winters, Gary
"The Federal Judicial District as Community in Obscenity Cases,"
University of Dayton Law Review: Vol. 2:
1, Article 5.
Available at: https://ecommons.udayton.edu/udlr/vol2/iss1/5