US Supreme Court today, which held 5-4 that fleeting or single-word expletives on broadcast television and radio shows could be fined millions of dollars.A lower U.S. Appeals Court in New York had found the FCC fines "arbitrary and capricious," by Justice Scalia, writing for the Supreme Court majority, reasoned that "the F-word's power to insult and offend derives from its sexual meaning."
So? Whatever the psychological wellsprings of its semantic power,
what counts is whether any Federal agency has the right to fine any broadcaster or anyone, any amount of money, for saying the word "f..ck" one or a dozen times,sotto voce or with trumpets blaring, given that the First Amendment to our Constitution says "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech".
The linguist Scalia and his four similarly minded colleagues on the bench not only are showing utter contempt for the First Amendment,but are violating their own sacred conservative principle of not "legislating from the bench" with this dangerous ruling.
Read Fordham University Prof. Paul Levison's the full post (here) entitled, More Bad Business from the Supreme Court on the FCC and the First Amendnment at his blog Infinite Regress
Photo is of Paul Levison