A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down the government's longstanding prohibition against indecency on broadcast television and radio, ruling the policy was "unconstitutionally vague" and creates a "chilling effect" that violates the 1st Amendment protection of free speech.
The ruling by a three-judge panel of the U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York is a major victory for the broadcast TV networks, which jointly sued the Federal Communications Commission in 2006 in the wake of a tougher crackdown on indecency over the airwaves. The suit stemmed from an FCC ruling in March 2006 that unscripted expletives uttered impromptu on live broadcasts violated indecency rules and were subject to fines.
Note that the FCC's draconian or necessary (you decide) polices about indecency developed during the Bush administration and the FCC chairmanship of Michael Powell.
You can expect more to be said about this ruling in the mainstream media (and of course the blogosphere) as the afternoon progresses.