It's hard to think about things non-electoral today, but today also happens to be the oral arguments in the Supreme Court for FCC v. Fox. The Court will be reviewing the FCC "fleeting expletive" standard for broadcast indecency.
The Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled "the FCC’s new policy sanctioning 'fleeting expletives' is arbitrary and capricious under the Administrative Procedure Act for failing to articulate a reasoned basis for its change in policy." Fox v. FCC
Transcript of the Oral Arguments for Fox v. FCC in the Supreme Court.
Dahlia Lithwick reported on the oral arguments for Slate.com, The Supreme Court's 100 percent dirt-free exploration of potty words, "Well, shit. There was supposed to be swearing. They swore like sailors when this case was argued in the 2nd Circuit. Judges and lawyers both! Those same judges swore themselves silly in the appellate opinion. Advocates swore (a lot) in the merits briefs. Promises were made. But today, in a case about how and when the FCC can regulate so-called 'fleeting utterances' of words like fuck and shit, the saltiest language comes when Solicitor General Gregory Garre, arguing for the FCC, warns that the agency had an obligation to guard against the possibility of 'Big Bird dropping the F-bomb on Sesame Street.'"
The Progress and Freedom Foundation's Adam Thierer attended the oral arguments and posted some thoughts, Supreme Court oral arguments in FCC v. Fox (General Thoughts): "Overall, however, I am concerned for the First Amendment after this morning's arguments in the Supreme Court. We could get a close decision in favor of the FCC and the agency's ongoing effort to expand content controls."
Some more previews in the press:
David Savage, Los Angeles Times, On the Supreme Court docket: bleeeeeep, "At issue is the future indecency standard for television and radio. Will these broadcasts remain under strict federal regulation because a mass audience that includes children may be watching? Or will a looser standard prevail, giving broadcasters and audiences more choice in what they see and hear?"
William Triplett, Variety, Fox v. FCC heads to Supreme Court: "A decision in the so-called fleeting expletives case of Fox v. FCC, skedded for oral arguments Tuesday morning, could sharply cut back -- maybe even eliminate -- the Federal Communications Commission's authority to police the airwaves for indecent content, experts say."
Adak Liptak, The New York Times, Ideas and Trends - Must It Always Be About Sex?: "The Oxford English Dictionary's three core entries on the word -- noun, verb and interjection -- are about six times as long as this article. That doesn't count about 30 derivations and compounds, all colorful and many recent. The nimble word, the dictionary tells us, can help express that a person is incompetent; that another is not be meddled with; that a situation has been botched; that one does not have the slightest clue; and, in a recent addition, that someone has enough money to be able to quit an unpleasant job."