"Supreme Court Rules Against FCC In Fleeting Indecency Cases, But Policy Remains Intact"

On June 21, 2012, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in Federal Communications Commission, et al. v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., et al. (567 U.S. ___ (No. 10-1293)), finding that the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") failed to give Fox and ABC fair notice prior to their broadcasts that fleeting expletives and momentary nudity could be found to be actionably indecent. 

This Stroock Special Bulletin examines this unanimous decision, in which the Court held that the standards as applied to the broadcasts were vague, and set aside the FCC's orders.  However, as the Court did not address the First Amendment implications of the FCC's indecency policy, that policy remains intact.