Category: Indecency

Once More With Feeling — Fox v. FCC back at SCOTUS

We’ve been here before, but now the Supreme Court is again hearing arguments on the FCC’s indecency standards, in particular the First Amendment aspects and the rule on fleeting expletives and broadcast. Transcript: FCC v. Fox (Oral Arguments, Jan. 10, 2012) Lyle Denniston, SCOTUSblog Many options on TV rules, “With one Justice testing the ultimate constitutionality of government controls on… Read more →

Second Circuit: FCC Indecency Rules Are Still Too Vague

The Second Circuit ruled this week that ABC stations should not be fined for violations of the prohibition on broadcast indecency for an episode of NYPD Blue “that depicted an adult woman’s nude buttocks for slightly less than seven seconds.” The court found that the FCC regulations prohibiting indecent speech on broadcast that were unconstitutionally vague in Fox v. FCC… Read more →

FCC v. Fox Oral Arguments Today

It’s hard to think about things non-electoral today, but today also happens to be the oral arguments in the Supreme Court for FCC v. Fox. The Court will be reviewing the FCC “fleeting expletive” standard for broadcast indecency. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled “the FCC’s new policy sanctioning ‘fleeting expletives’ is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure… Read more →

George Carlin

The New York Times reports on the passing of George Carlin, George Carlin, 71, Irreverent Standup Comedian: “Mr. Carlin was hailed for his poignant observations on the absurdities of everyday life in routines like ‘Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television.’” A broadcast of the “Seven Words” routine brought to the Supreme Court the question of whether the First… Read more →

Deferring Indecency Rulings

The Los Angeles Times reports that the FCC is waiting to rule on its indecency complaints against broadcast licensees until after the Supreme Court rules on FCC v. Fox, Indecency cases stuck in legal limbo at FCC: “Thousands of viewer and listener complaints about programs are backed up at the Federal Communications Commission, where officials acknowledge the legal limbo has… Read more →

Court Grants Cert in FCC v. Fox

On Monday, the Supreme Court granted cert and agreed to review the Second Circuit’s ruling in Fox v. FCC, 06-1760-ag, that the Commission’s policy sanctioning “fleeting expletives” is arbitrary and capricious. FCC v. Fox Docket. The Government’s Cert Petition asks The Court to review “whether the court of appeals erred in striking down the Federal Communications Commission’s determination that the… Read more →

Revisiting Indecency

After a quiet year on the indecency front, the FCC recently revisited two indecency complaints from programs that aired in 2003 and issued forfeiture orders. In re: Complaints Against Various Television Licensees Concerning Their February 25, 2003 Broadcast of the Program “NYPD Blue” (FCC 08-55, Feb. 19, 2008) In re: Complaints Against Various Licensees Regarding Their Broadcast of the Fox… Read more →

Second Circuit strikes strict indecency regs

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the Federal Communications Commission’s policy prohibiting “fleeting expletives” is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act for “failing to articulate a reasoned basis for its change in policy.” Fox v. FCC, 06-1760 (2d Cir., Jun. 4, 2007). “The Networks contend that the Remand Order is arbitrary and capricious because the FCC… Read more →