ACLU Attacks FCC

LOS ANGELES — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), along with a variety of other groups, has issued a statement to the U.S. Supreme Court, claiming that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) lacks the authority to regulate non-obscene speech.

The groups claim that the FCC's practice of deciding what or isn't "decent" amounts to "unconstitutional censorship."

The move was prompted by an FCC action challenging a lower-court's overturning of its claim that Fox Television aired a "fleeting indecency" during a Billboard Awards show.

The Amicus Curiae was filed by The American Civil Liberties Union; The New York Civil Liberties Union; American Booksellers Foundation For Free Expression; American Federation Of Television And Radio Artists; Directors Guild Of America; First Amendment Project; Minnesota Public Radio/American Public Media; National Alliance For Media Arts And Culture; National Coalition Against Censorship; National Federation Of Community Broadcasters; Pen American Center; and Washington Area Lawyers For The Arts; and asks the Supreme Court to evaluate the FCC's decency-enforcement rules, stating that "no agency should be given such power under the constitution."

Part of the controversy surrounds the issue of a potential violation of the Administrative Procedures Act by the FCC, since it is claimed that the Commission did not give the nation's broadcasters sufficient notice that brief, unexpected profanities would be fined.

"The entire indecency regime, in light of 30 years' experience, can no longer be justified by any constitutionally permissible construction of the statute," the brief declared.

"Technological developments since Pacifica [a Supreme Court decision that upheld the FCC's authority] indicate that the rationale for censorship of non-obscene broadcasting has lost whatever persuasive force it once may have had," stated the brief. "Given cable television, the Internet and other electronic media today, broadcasting is no longer 'uniquely pervasive' and 'uniquely accessible to children.'"

The brief didn't call into question the role of the Commission in regulating the broadcast spectrum, which is a finite resource that requires governmental management, but only its role in determining the appropriateness of the content delivered over the airwaves.

"There is surely a difference between structural rules designed to promote more speech and censorship rules based on broad, shifting and culturally driven criteria such as 'patent offensiveness,'" the brief stated.

View Document

Related:  

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Japanese Performers, Stakeholders Rally to Save Industry From Controversial Law

Hundreds of protesters marched alongside Japanese adult industry professionals on Friday to protest a controversial 2022 law that regulates the country’s adult video (AV) sector, and which they contend has crucially destabilized the industry.

FSC Meets With UK Baroness in Charge of Tory Government's Porn Review

The Free Speech Coalition (FSC) has met with Baroness Gabrielle Bertin, the House of Lords member charged by the U.K. government with conducting a full review of the country's pornography laws.

FSC Publishes Guide to Navigating New FinCEN Reporting Requirements

The Free Speech Coalition has published a guide for members on how to navigate the new reporting requirements implemented by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Canada: Age Verification of Adult Content Becomes Election Issue

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau criticized on Thursday at an event in Cape Breton comments by Conservative Party leader Pierre Poilievre stating that his government would require age verification for adult content if elected.

Nebraska Republican Asserts Age Verification Aims to 'Protect Women' From Adult Content

The Nebraska Republican legislator behind the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists asserted Wednesday that his bill aims not only to shield minors from adult content but also to “protect women.”

Kansas Senator Dismisses Free Speech Concerns About Her Age Verification Bill

The Kansas state Senate Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, despite Democratic senators expressing concerns about potential implications for free speech.

South Dakota Republicans Admit Age Verification is Part of National Campaign Against Online 'Filth'

The South Dakota House Judiciary Committee last week voted unanimously to endorse the state’s copycat version of the age verification legislation being sponsored around the country by anti-porn religious conservative activists, which the bill’s backers have described as part of a national campaign to fight online “filth.”

Actor Rick Schroder Releases Bizarre Trailer for Anti-Porn Propaganda Series 'Erotic Erosion'

Former child actor and current anti-porn activist Rick Schroder is moving forward with “Erotic Erosion,” a new propaganda series targeting the adult industry.

Florida Republicans Combine Age Verification, Social Media Ban Bills

Republican state legislators in Florida have incorporated a copycat age verification bill, introduced by a pastor and based on other laws championed by religious conservatives across the country, into a larger bill that aims to prevent anyone under 16 from using certain social media platforms.

UK Media Regulator Encourages Companies, Creators to Provide Feedback on New Rules for Adult Content

U.K media regulator Ofcom is encouraging all members of the adult industry, including companies, creators and other stakeholders, to provide feedback to help it establish new regulations under the recent Online Safety Act — regulations that will impact the accessibility of online adult content.

Show More