Supreme Court ruling bans broadcast 'fleeting expletives'

WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a federal prohibition on the one-time use of expletives in a case arising partly from an expletive uttered by Cher at a Billboard Music Awards show in 2002.
The ruling, by a 5-4 vote and written by Justice Antonin Scalia, endorsed a Bush administration Federal Communications Commission policy against isolated outbursts of, as Scalia said from the bench, the "f-word" and "s-word."
The ruling does not resolve a lingering First Amendment challenge to the 2004 policy that is likely to be subject to further lower court proceedings.
Tuesday's decision reversed a ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit that had said the FCC's decision to sanction "fleeting expletives" was arbitrary and capricious under federal law. That lower court had agreed with Fox Television Stations, which broadcast the Billboard awards, that such isolated utterances are not as potentially harmful to viewers as are other uses of sexual and excretory expressions long deemed "indecent" and banned by federal regulators.
Other broadcast networks had joined in the challenge, saying the policy was especially chilling for live awards shows and sporting events.
[ :D :D :D ... excuse me, but I can only laugh. This is a Supreme Court ruling on... words! You see all the ways that this is wrong, don't you?]
In any case, go on reading, here...

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