Court Rejects FCC's Expansive Regulation of "Indecency"
In a victory for free expression, a federal appeals court today limited the Federal Communications Commission's ongoing effort to expand its authority to regulate speech over broadcast media. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the FCC did not adequately explain its decision to reverse thirty years of policy of allowing "fleeting expletives " on broadcast television. Following its main decision, the Court also addressed an issue raised by CDT and others in a friend-of-the-court brief. Echoing the arguments in the brief, the court said that as communications technologies converge and "user empowerment" tools become more available, the very foundation of the FCC's authority over broadcast is diminishing.