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SCOTUS invalidates retroactive application of FCC’s fleeting expletives policy

Jun 22, 2012 SCOTUS invalidates retroactive application of FCC’s fleeting expletives policy

By Fairfax County/Northern defense lawyer Jon Katz. Defending results for his clients.

In 1999, I blogged about the Supreme Court’s 5-4 decision permitting the FCC to fine broadcasters for fleeting expletives, and leaving the Second Circuit to consider remaining Constitutional matters. In mid-2010, I blogged that the Second Circuit had found that the FCC’s indecency policy is unconstitutionally vague. Fox, et al. v. FCC613 F.3d 317 (2d Cir. 2010).

Yesterday, the Supreme Court unanimously barred retroactive application of the fleeting expletives policy, finding that the FCC’s "standards as applied to [the subject] broadcasts were vague, and the [FCC’s financial penalty] orders must be set aside." FCC v. Fox, et al., ___ U.S. ___ (June 21, 2012).

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