June 21, 2012

CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

The following comment on today’s decision in FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. can be attributed to Steven R. Shapiro, ACLU Legal Director:

"Although today’s decision is a narrow one, the indecency regime is now on life support. Speaking unanimously, the Court made clear that it will not uphold an indecency rule that fails to give broadcasters clear notice of what is allowed and what is prohibited. The FCC’s track record in enforcing the indecency rule makes clear that it cannot provide the clarity that the Court and the Constitution demand. In addition, as Justice Ginsburg points out in her concurring opinion, technology has eliminated whatever justification there may once have been for providing less First Amendment protection to broadcast than other media. It has become commonplace for the same TV show to be shown on broadcast TV, replayed on cable, and streamed on the Internet. It makes no sense to apply different First Amendment rules depending on whether the viewer chooses to turn on her television set or computer."

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