US Supreme Court issues 2 opinions

| | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (0)

In FCC v. Fox Television Stations, in a 5-4 decision authored by Justice Scalia, the Court upheld the Federal Government's power to ban on radio and TV of the words "fuck" and "shit."  The majority refers to the words as the "f-word" and the "s-word," but I'm not afraid of the words so there they are.  Fortunately, the censors have not yet banned them on the internet, but who knows - that may be next.  Anyway, the majority finds that the FCC may sanction television stations for a single utterance of such words by a celebrity during an awards show, even though the station does not control the content of the celebrity's speech.  Justice Scalia apparently is not a fan of such persons as he refers to them as "foul-mouthed glitteratae from Hollywood."  The Court holds that the flat ban on certain words is not "arbitrary and capricious," but leaves open the question of whether the First Amendment is violated by the ban.  The Second Circuit will address that issue on remand.  Justice Thomas filed a concurring opinion.  Justice Kennedy filed an opinion concurring in part (he does not join part III-E of the Scalia opinion).  Justice Stevens authored a dissenting opinion as did Justice Ginsburg.  Justice Breyer filed a dissenting opinion which was joined by Justices Stevens, Souter, and Ginsburg.

After reading the 72 page opinion, I recommend George Carlin- Seven Dirty Words You Can't Say on Television

The Court also issued an opinion in Cone v. Bell.  In one of of the very few capital cases heard this term, the Court issues a 7-2 decision reversed an order of the Sixth Circuit which had affirmed the denial of federal habeas relief.  The majority, in an opinion authored by Justice Stevens, held that the lower federal courts were wrong in finding a procedural bar as the facts did not support either of the two procedural bars argued by the state.  The Court also hald that a full review of suppressed witness statements and police reports was required to determine whether they would have bolstered the defense mitigation case for the penalty hearing.  Although the evidence was insufficient to establish an insanity defense for the trial phase, evidence of habitual use of excess amounts of drugs and the impact of that addiction during the murders was relevant as mitigation.  Chief Justice Roberts filed an opinion concurring in the judgment.  Justice Alito filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.  Justice Thomas filed a dissenting opinion which was joined by Justice Scalia. 




0 TrackBacks

Listed below are links to blogs that reference this entry: US Supreme Court issues 2 opinions.

TrackBack URL for this entry:

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by JoNell published on April 28, 2009 8:32 AM.

This Week was the previous entry in this blog.

US Supreme Court issues 2 opinions in criminal cases is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Powered by Movable Type 4.0