High Court Support of ‘Curse’ Policy Deals a Blow to TV

In a setback for the TV industry, the Supreme Court Tuesday morning tentatively approved government regulation of the use of curse words during live TV broadcasts, according to a report by the Associated Press.

However, in the close 5-4 vote, it didn’t decide whether the FCC’s controversial policy on “fleeting expletives” is consistent with First Amendment free speech rights, instead suggesting that a federal appeals court should rule on that issue.

The Supreme Court’s decision, which argued broadcasters can be fined for even single curse words used on live TV, throws out a ruling by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in favor of a Fox Television-led challenge. The lower court had asked for a more detailed reasoning of the tougher stance on indecency.