FCC Reacts to Supreme Court Ruling
Commissioners Robert McDowell and Ajit Pai both released statements following the Supreme Court's decision to punt on Thursday. McDowell said now it's time for the commission to "expeditiously implement the Court’s decision to put an end to years of litigation and uncertainty regarding the Commission’s regulation of indecent content." Pai said, "The best way for us to proceed is to get to work resolving the multitude of indecency complaints that have piled up during this litigation." See both statements in full below.
“Today, the Supreme Court held that the FCC failed to provide fair notice that Fox’s airing of fleeting expletives and ABC’s broadcast of brief nudity during an NYPD episode would trigger enforcement action and, therefore, the indecency standards as applied to these broadcasts were impermissibly vague. The FCC must expeditiously implement the Court’s decision to put an end to years of litigation and uncertainty regarding the Commission’s regulation of indecent content on America’s airwaves. As a matter of good governance, it is now time for the FCC to get back to work so that we can process the backlog of pending indecency complaints – which currently stands at just under 1.5 million involving about 9,700 TV broadcasts. Some of these complaints date back to 2003. We owe it to the American public and the broadcast licensees involved to carry out our statutory duties with all deliberate speed. I look forward to working with the Chairman, my Commission colleagues and FCC staff to reduce the backlog of indecency cases, along with more than 300 license renewal applications that have remained pending in light of this litigation, as soon as possible.”
"Today’s narrow decision by the U.S. Supreme Court does not call into question the Commission’s overall indecency enforcement authority or the constitutionality of the Commission’s current indecency policy. Rather, it highlights the need for the Commission to make its policy clear. I look forward to working with my colleagues to provide the clarity that both parents and broadcasters deserve. At this point, the best way for us to proceed is to get to work resolving the multitude of indecency complaints that have piled up during this litigation."
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