Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Don't Define, Protect

W. Wat Hopkins, Virginia Tech, has published When Does F*** Not Mean F***: FCC v. Fox Television Stations and a Call for Protecting Emotive Speech, in volume 64 of the Federal Communications Law Journal (2011). Here is the abstract.

The Supreme Court of the United States doesn’t always deal cogently with non-traditional language. The most recent example is FCC v. Fox Television Stations, in which the justices became sidetracked into attempting to define the f-word and then to determine whether, when used as a fleeting expletive rather than repeatedly, the word is indecent for broadcast purposes. The Court would do well to avoid definitions and heed Justice John Marshall Harlan’s advice in Cohen v. California to provide protection for the emotive, as well as the cognitive, element of speech.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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