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Monday, May 04, 2009

Supreme Court Sends Janet Jackson Rule Back For Review

The Supreme Court has ruled (5/5/09) that the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia should consider reinstating the $550,000 fine that the Federal Communications Commission imposed on CBS over Jackson's breast-baring performance at the 2004 Super Bowl. A federal appeals court previously ruled in favor of CBS Corporation and against the fine in a legal fight over entertainer Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction.

The order follows the high court ruling last week that upheld the FCC's policy threatening fines against even one-time uses of curse words on live television.

Last year, the Third U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia threw out the fine against CBS, reasoning that the incident lasted nine-sixteenths of one second and should have been regarded as "fleeting." The FCC previously deviated from its nearly 30-year practice of fining indecent broadcast programming only when it was so "pervasive as to amount to 'shock treatment' for the audience," the court said. The FCC appealed to the Supreme Court. The case is FCC v. CBS Corp., 08-653.

On Sunday Feb. 1, 2004 entertainer Janet Jackson, left, exposed her right breast after Justin Timberlake pulled the breast cup during the half time performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII in Houston, Texas.

(Wash Post, 5/4/09) (Photo: AP)
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