In-Depth: Sponsoring Rep. Mark Meadows (R-NC) introduced this legislation largely in response to a well-publicized instance in which an EPA investigators found that one of the agency’s employees watched porn for two to six hours a day
. Four months after the investigation went public, that employee was still drawing
a salary from the agency. Though Rep. Meadows expressed outrage at this in his release, the bill does not include any language on termination of employees that view pornography.
Reaching a definition of "porn" could be difficult when implementing this bill. The Supreme Court couldn’t do so in 1963’s Jacobellis v. Ohio, in which Justice Potter Stewart wrote “I know it when I see it.” That said, U.S. Code does contain a working definition for “sexually explicit conduct” in U.S. 2256, which is a law concerning child pornography.
Of Note: In the summer of 2014, The Washington Times found that this behavior was hardly isolated—employees of the Commerce Department, the General Services Administration, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development also made a habit of watching porn at work.
(Photo Credit: Flickr user USDAgov)