Supreme Court Ruling on Indecency – FCC SHOULD STILL ENFORCE LAWS!

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued their decision in FCC v FOX concerning indecency regulations on broadcast TV. Here are a number of responses from various national organizations committed to upholding standards of decency.


Supreme Court Indecency Ruling Allows Enforcement

FCC Should Now Vigorously Enforce Indecency Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 21, 2012)—Morality in Media said today’s U. S. Supreme Court ruling in FCC v. Fox leaves the Federal Communications Commission free to enforce federal broadcast TV indecency law and to alter FCC regulations that provide guidance to network broadcasters if necessary.

“While the ruling is not what Morality in Media was hoping for, it should be understood that the high court did not strike down the federal indecency law, 18 USC 1464, nor did it uphold the decision of the U. S. Court of Appeals finding that the FCC enforcement regulations of that law were unconstitutional,” said MIM’s president, Patrick A. Trueman. “Instead, the Court found that the two networks involved in the case, Fox and ABC, did not have “fair notice” that their broadcasts, which were found to violate FCC indecency regulations, were actionably indecent. That is because the broadcasts in question occurred prior to the issuance of FCC regulations under which they were charged,” Trueman added.

The ruling of the Second Circuit was vacated today and the case remanded to that Court for further consideration.

“The real import of today’s ruling is that the FCC is free to enforce indecency law,” Trueman said, and Morality in Media calls on the FCC to begin vigorous enforcement to clean up the public airwaves.

The Supreme Court made clear that today’s ruling, “leaves the (FCC) free to modify its current indecency policy in light of its determination of the public interest and applicable legal requirements and leaves courts free to review the current, or any modified, policy in light of its content and application.” Trueman, however, said he hoped that the FCC would not change its current indecency policy because the Networks have now had nearly 10 years of “fair notice” of FCC policy.

“Broadcasters do not have a right to turn network television into a cesspool at the expense of children and those who wish to avoid the foul language and pornography that is now so common on cable television,” said Trueman.“The FCC must now enforce our right to decency on the public airwaves.”

MIM filed a brief ( in the FCC v. Fox case decided today.

About MIM
Founded in 1962, Morality in Media, Inc. is the leading organization focused on opposing pornography and indecency through public education and the application of the law.


FRC Expects U.S. Supreme Court to Uphold Future Fines against TV Indecency

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Family Research Council (FRC) issued the following statement in response to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc.

Of the decision Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said:

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court gave the FCC the green light to continue imposing indecency fines on the networks for fleeting expletives and brief nudity. When a similar case goes before the Supreme Court again for fines imposed for any future violations, we expect the Court to once again decide that fleeting expletives and brief nudity are not protected under the First Amendment.

“The public airways are just that – public. The networks using them have a moral duty to the American public to responsibly provide content that is acceptable for all viewers. This is not a heavy burden for those whose television and radio licenses provide them with substantial profits,” concluded Perkins.

To read FRC’s amicus brief in the case, click here


Broadcast Decency Standards Must Be Enforced

Washington, D.C. — Today, the United States Supreme Court handed down its decision on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) enforcement of indecency standards. Here is what Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women for America (CWA) and former special advisor to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, had to say:

Although we are disappointed and firmly disagree with the Court that the FCC had not given Fox or ABC “fair” notice prior to these broadcasts, the Court did not touch the FCC’s power to enforce indecency laws in the future as the opponents asked them to and  that is very encouraging.  This is a very narrow ruling that should really affirm the FCC’s power to enforce decency standards on the people’s broadcast airwaves.

The FCC must act swiftly to make sure “appropriate” notice is given to broadcasters that even the type of material involved in these cases will not be tolerated in the future.

CWA’s 500,000 members strongly believe that the law regarding indecency on the public airwaves must be enforced and children must be protected. There are currently over one million unadjudicated complaints awaiting Chairman Genachowski’s attention, and now is the time for action. Based on today’s decision, parents and interests outside of Washington need to join with the FCC and work towards enforceable standards.


PTC Applauds Supreme Court for Siding with Decency Law

Urges FCC to Clear Out More Than 1.5 Million Pending Indecency Complaints

LOS ANGELES (June 21, 2012) – Today, the United States Supreme Court ruled in the Federal Communications Commission v. Fox case. The Parents Television Council™ praised the Court for refusing to side with the networks’ years-long campaign to overturn the broadcast decency law, and upholding the authority of the FCC to enforce broadcast decency standards between the hours of 6
and 10 p.m., when children are likely watching.

“Contrary to some media reports, the networks have lost their latest attempt to obliterate television decency standards once as for all. In fact, their efforts were slapped down by a unanimous Court. Broadcast decency rules have existed to protect children since the dawn of the broadcast medium and it is for their sake that there will still be decency rules and the TV networks will be required to abide by them,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

The Numbers


NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.


The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.


NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.



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