- The Washington Times - Friday, September 28, 2007

The government will ask the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision that invalidated the Federal Communications Commission’s policy on the broadcast of profanity.

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin confirmed the decision Wednesday night.

“I am pleased the solicitor general will be seeking Supreme Court review of the 2nd Circuit’s decision,” he said. “I continue to support the commission’s efforts to protect families from indecent language on television and radio when children are likely to be in the audience.”

The solicitor general represents federal agencies in cases before the Supreme Court.

In June, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals rejected by a 2-1 vote the agency’s policies on so-called fleeting expletives. The case involved two airings of the “Billboard Music Awards,” in which expletives were broadcast over the airwaves.

The court rejected the FCC’s policy on procedural grounds but was “skeptical that the commission can provide a reasoned explanation for its fleeting expletive regime that would pass constitutional muster.”

Solicitor General Paul D. Clement told Variety, the entertainment business magazine, in a report posted on its Web site Wednesday night that he had authorized the filing of a petition for Supreme Court review of the case.

The government has sought an extension of the filing until Nov. 1.

If the high court hears the case, it will be its first review of broadcast speech in three decades.


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