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Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., et al. (docket #: 07-582) (2008)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., et al.  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 11/04/2008
Decided 04/28/09
Supreme Court Vote 5-4
IssueWhether the FCC provided an adequate explanation, or instead acted arbitrarily and capriciously under the APA, in changing its policy to permit isolated uses of expletives on broadcast television to be considered "indecent" under federal law.
Majority Opinion Scalia, J.
Concurring Opinion Thomas, J., & Kennedy, J. (concurring in part & concurring in judgment)
Dissenting Opinion Stevens, J., & Ginsburg, J., & Breyer, J.
Certiorari Granted 03/17/2008
Lower Court 2nd Circuit
Lower Court Ruling Free speech claim sustained as a matter of statutory law; FCC action held to be arbitrary and capricious under Administrative Procedure Act.
Oral Arguments transcript
For Petitioner
Gregory Garre, Solicitor General

For Respondent
Carter G. Phillips (lead counself for Fox)

Miguel Estrada (lead counself for NBC)

For Petitioner
Government's Certiorari Petition

For Respondent
Fox's Brief in Opposition (SCOTUSblog)

NBC's Brief in Opposition (SCOTUSblog)

Tony Mauro Analysis
"FCC v. Fox draws intense interest" (excerpts from briefs)

"On-air expletives, Utah monument cases lead lineup"

"Justices to examine 'fleeting' expletives"

Opinion - Lower Court
Fox Television Stations, Inc. et al v. FCC (2nd Cir., 2007)

AP, "Supreme Court takes broadcast-indecency case"

AP, "Court avoids dirty words during TV indecency hearing" (11/05/08)

AP, "Court leaves FCC 'fleeting expletives' rules in place" (04/28/09)

Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Take Up On-Air Vulgarity Again," New York Times, March 18, 2008, sect. A, p. 19

Savage, David, "Supreme Court to rule on radio, TV indecency," Los Angeles Times, March 17, 2008

Collins, Ronald, "Freud, the FCC & the doctrine of respondeat superior"

Compilation of Amicus Briefs (SCOTUSblog)

SCOTUSblog, "Court grants review of indecency law, 7 other cases"


"Analysis: What’s next on 'indecent' broadcasts?" (SCOTUSblog, 04/28/09)

Julie Hilden, "The Fight Over "Fleeting Expletives": How A Grant of Supreme Court Review May Lead to Expanded FCC Power and Reduced First Amendment Rights for Broadcasters" (03/31/2008)

Julie Hilden. "A Federal Appeals Court Strikes Down the FCC's "Fleeting Expletives" Policy on Administrative Law Grounds: Was It Right to Do So?" (06/27/2007)

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