Supreme Court comes down on side of children
This time the United States Supreme Court came down on the side of children in America. Tuesday, in a narrow 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled that broadcasters who use indecent and vulgar language can be punished by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) even if the swear words used were not in the script. David Souter, whose resignation this coming summer was announced yesterday, of course sided with the 3 other liberals against America's children.
In writing for the majority, Justice Antonin Scalia said: "The commission could reasonably conclude that the pervasiveness of foul language, and the coarsening of public entertainment in other media such as cable, justify more stringent regulation of broadcast programs so as to give conscientious parents a relatively safe haven for their children." Justice Scalia was joined in the majority by Chief Justice John G. Roberts, and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito, Jr., and for most of the decision, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy.
In "The Washington Times" article on Wednesday, it was reported that the court sided with the FCC's policy that threatens broadcasters with fines over the use of even a single curse word on live television, the so-called "fleeting expletives" policy. "The precipitating events were live broadcasts of awards shows in which entertainers Bono, Cher and Nicole Richie let slip or perhaps purposely said variations of what Justice Scalia called Tuesday the f- and s-words. It its last major broadcast indecency case, the court ruled 31 years ago that the FCC could keep curse words off the airwaves between 6 p.m. and 10 p.m."
Obviously the 1978 decision and this week's decision by the nation's top court were to protect children from hearing the smut that frequently comes over the airwaves from CBS, NBC, ABC and Fox broadcast network. President George W. Bush's appointee to the Federal Communications Commission, the acting chairman, Michael Copps, called the decision "a big win for American families."
Mr. Copps also said that the "decision should reassure parents that their children can still be protected from indecent material on the nation's airwaves." It would behoove pro-family Senators to watch carefully who Barack Obama puts up as his nominees for the FCC and indeed, for the United States Supreme Court, most especially, his replacement for David Souter.