The Supreme Court said today that it will take up the FCC’s request to hear arguments about how much authority the agency has to police indecent programming. A lower court had shot down two FCC enforcement actions — that infamous naked buttocks shot on a 2003 episode of ABC’s NYPD Blue, and a pair of f-bombs during two live Billboard Music Awards shows — saying that the regulators’ concept of what’s “indecent” is too vague. The Obama administration has countered that those decisions hurt the agency’s ability to oversee their jurisdiction. Now the high court could weigh in. Meanwhile, as part of a slew of decisions announced today, the Supreme Court struck down a California law that bans the sale of violent video games to minors, calling it a violation of free speech and thereby unconstitutional. The creative industry — the MPAA, Disney and Sony among them — mobilized against the law, which was passed in 2005 but never enacted due to the legal wranglings. “Our cases hold that minors are entitled to a significant degree of First Amendment protection,” Justice Antonin Scalia said in summarizing the court’s 7-2 vote from the bench. “Government has no free-floating power to restrict the ideas to which they may be exposed.”
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.