Most Popular Articles
FCC Profanity Rule Headed to Supreme Court
Washington - Oct 1, 2007 - The U.S. Solicitor General has signaled his intent to ask the Supreme Court to review a recent appeals court decision invalidating the FCC's rule against the use of fleeting expletives on the air. In requesting a routine deadline extension until Nov. 1 for filing a petition at the Supreme Court, U.S. Solicitor Paul D. Clement said he has "decided to authorize the filing of a petition for a writ of certiorari in this case. The additional time sought in this application is necessary to permit the preparation and printing of the petition." Approval of such an extension is usually granted automatically.
In a ruling in June, the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals found the FCC was unjustified in creating a policy that fined broadcasters for the use of fleeting expletives on live broadcasts. The case involved two airings of the "Billboard Music Awards" in which expletives were broadcast by Fox.
Appealing the decision to the Supreme Court is a major risk for the FCC, because it could result in the commission losing its authority to regulate broadcast content. A 1978 Supreme Court decision that shaped FCC indecency policy exempted one-time profanities, acknowledging that broadcasters can't always catch everything, particularly when they don't know an expletive will be said.
In June, the appeals court found that an FCC shift on indecency issues beginning in 2006 under the Bush administration was not adequately explained or justified. As a result, the court invalidated the policy. Under legal procedures, the appellate court was required to address the case on the most basic grounds first. For that reason, the June decision was based on procedural, rather than constitutional grounds.
Broadcasters challenging the FCC's policy have raised constitutional issues in their briefs. However, the appeals court decision included a section expressing doubt that even if the FCC could come up with a procedural explanation for the new policy, it would not withstand challenge on constitutional issues.
In another case, the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals is currently deciding the CBS appeal of the FCC's $550,000 fine against its stations for Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during a Super Bowl halftime show.
The outcomes of the two cases are expected to decide the fate of the FCC's recent indecency campaign.
Acceptable Use Policy blog comments powered by Disqus
[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Today in Radio History
The history of radio broadcasting extends beyond the work of a few famous inventors.
EAS Information More on EAS
The feed provides feeds for all US states and territories.
Need a calendar for your computer desktop? Use one of ours.
Information from manufacturers and associations about industry news, products, technology and business announcements.
Cumulus builds a new campus in Nashville to house its NASH family of brands
Browse Back Issues[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Also in the October Issue
- Trends in Technology: Alternate Transmitter Sites
- Tell City Waiver Denied
- 2014 Radio magazine Salary Survey
- Field Report: Steinberg UR44
- Repurposing Older Equipment