Friday, April 22, 2011

UPDATE: Obama Administration Asks High Court to Review FCC Indecency Rulings

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 25:  U.S. President Barac...Image by Getty Images via @daylifeActing U.S. Solicitor General Neal Katyal, at the Obama Administration's behest, urged the U.S. Supreme Court today to accept for review the FCC's indecency policy that restricts broadcasting nudity and profanity over the airwaves.

In its decisions in both Fox Television v. FCC (Case Nos. 06-1760, 06-2750, 06-5358) and ABC v. FCC (Case No. 08-0841), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit condemned the FCC's indecency standard as being unconstitutionally vague and violative of the First Amendment's free-speech guarantee. (See "TUOL" posts 1/5/11, 8/30/10.)

The government is arguing that the Second Circuit rulings effectively handcuffed the FCC and prevent it from carrying out its mandate to enforce statutory restrictions on broadcast indecency, whereas Hollywood moguls and First Amendment advocates contend that reinstating vague indecency rules would have a "chilling effect" on free speech.

The dedicated staff of  "TUOL" is in the latter camp, and also believes that the national debt, on-going conflicts in the Middle East, and health care are among a handful of issues that ought to command the attention of the Obama Administration ahead of  7-seconds worth of NYPD Blue actress Charlotte Ross's buttocks being broadcast in 2003, as captivating as "TUOL" remembered them to be.

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