This is absolutely huge good legal news for the adult industry, and an astonishing win for unsympathetic defendant Rob Black of Extreme Associates (also known as the gonzo spitting-and-insult-screaming-and-shoving-dick-down-her-throat-until-she-vomits pornographers). The federal government has been toiling away at putting together a huge obscenity show trial against Mr. Black and some associates of his, with the apparent goal of putting him in jail for a lot of years and then using that conviction to scare the more-responsible mainstream pornography business back into the shadows.

Well, it didn’t work, because the trial judge threw out all the obscenity charges on constitutional grounds, saying:

“We find that the federal obscenity statutes burden an individual’s fundamental right to possess, read, observe and think about what he chooses in the privacy of his own home by completely banning the distribution of obscene materials.

Usual disclaimers apply: trial court, likely to be appealed, ain’t over yet, yadda yadda yadda.

Ironic twist worth noting: Supreme Court Justices Rehnquist, Scalia, and Thomas are owed a vote of thanks for their participation in this outcome. When the Lawrence v. Texas sodomy case (the one declaring that whatever legitimate interest a government may have in trying to impose a moral code, it’s not a good enough reason to intrude into personal and private sexual lives) was decided last year, these justices dissented with the rather sour but extremely accurate observation that the decision “called into question” laws against obscenity — an observation upon which the judge relied heavily in the Extreme Associates case.