Way back last November, the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals told CBS that it did not have to pay a $550,000 fine for allowing Janet Jackson's nipple to be briefly televised to Super Bowl audiences. Last Friday, the Supreme Court denied the FCC's appeal, putting an end to the case but, says SCOTUSblog, leaving the legal question of whether the FCC’s current policy against ”indecent” broadcasts is unconstitutional unanswered:
The Court’s action in that case, and its Friday order bypassing review of the Super Bowl case, left uncertain just what the FCC would do next. There has been no sign that it would abandon its view that even non-repeated profanity and brief nudity exposures violated federal law or FCC policy. In a brief separate opinion on Friday, Justice Ginsburg suggested that the FCC now re-think its policy in the wake of “technological advances” and the meandering path the FCC’s policy had taken since the Court first allowed it to police indecency in a ruling in 1978, FCC v. Pacifica Foundation.