A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Senate panel backs bill giving FCC more power on indecency sanctions

[JURIST] The US Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on Thursday approved the Protecting Children from Indecent Programming Act [S 1780 text, PDF], which, if enacted, will give the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) broader authority to sanction television and radio broadcasters for a single word or image [press release] that the FCC considers indecent. The proposed legislation seeks to undo a federal appellate court's invalidation of the "fleeting expletives" standard [JURIST report].

In June, the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the FCC's "fleeting expletives" standard represented a "significant departure" from its previous regulatory standards, and vacated [opinion, PDF] a determination [FCC order] by the FCC that Fox Television broadcasts violated the FCC's indecency and profanity prohibitions because the FCC failed to articulate a reasoned basis for its change in policy pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act [text]. The FCC did not regulate fleeting expletives prior to 2004. AP has more.

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.