Second Circuit Court Sets Oral Arguments In Indecency Case
December 1, 2006 at 5:55 AM (PT)
The indecency case in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals now has a date for oral arguments, as the court sets DECEMBER 20 for the parties to make their cases. Each side will get just 12 minutes for the arguments over the Commission's rulings in four TV indecency cases.
Meanwhile, a pair of former FCC officials have filed an amicus brief in the simultaneous Third Circuit indecency case calling the Commission's present indecency rulings unconstitutional. Former General Counsel HENRY GELLER and Commissioner GLEN ROBINSON filed the brief calling the FCC's current rulings a "crusade" with a chilling effect on programming, an "expansive and aggressive new campaign of enforcement goes beyond the limitations assumed by the SUPREME COURT when it affirmed the FCC's indecency doctrine in 1978 and violates the First Amendment." GELLER and ROBINSON filed a similar brief in the Second Circuit proceeding in MARCH.
...a 'crusade' with a chilling effect on programming...
Also filing amicus briefs in the Second and Third Circuit cases are the CENTER FOR DEMOCRACY AND TECHNOLOGY and the PROGRESS AND FREEDOM FOUNDATION, calling the FCC's rulings a violation of the First Amendment and the Administrative Procedures Act. The groups note that the Commission's authority to regulate indecency came at a time when families had no control over the reception of media content, which is "simply not the case in the digital world, and the FCC cannot be allowed to extend its archaic authority to other technologies, where user control is a built-in function," the groups said in a joint statement.
SAG, AFTRA, the WGA EAST, WGA WEST, DIRECTORS GUILD, the ACLU, the FILMS ARTS FOUNDATION, and the PEN AMERICA CENTER also filed a joint friend-of-the-court brief in the courts, with ACLU National Legal Dir. STEVEN R. SHAPIRO calling the Commisison's enforcement of indecency rules "arbitrary" and "no more tolerable than allowing government agents to tear pages out of library books."