The Supreme Court yesterday steered clear of a Florida obscenity flap over a rap album by 2 Live Crew.
The court rejected without comment a sheriff’s bid to reinstate a ruling that the album “As Nasty As They Wanna Be” is obscene.
U.S. District Judge Jose Gonzalez Jr. of Fort Lauderdale declared the album’s lyrics obscene in June 1990, saying its numerous sexual references made it “an appeal to dirty thoughts and the loins, not to the intellect and the mind.”
Broward County Sheriff Nick Navarro had warned record stores not to sell the album. Four days after Gonzalez’s ruling, Navarro arrested three members of 2 Live Crew on obscenity charges for giving an adults-only performance at a local nightclub. The group members later were acquitted.
The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed Gonzalez’s ruling, saying Navarro had not proved the album is obscene.