Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Supreme Court Gets It Right, For the Wrong Reasons. Again.

Looks like the Supreme Court makes the right decision, for the wrong reasons yet again:

The Supreme Court has thrown out fines and sanctions against broadcasters who violated the Federal Communications Commission policy regulating curse words and nudity on broadcast television.

The justices declined on Thursday to issue a broad ruling on the constitutionality of the FCC indecency policy. Instead, the court concluded only that broadcasters could not have known in advance that obscenities uttered during awards show programs and a brief display of nudity on an episode of ABC's NYPD Blue could give rise to sanctions.

The justices said the FCC is free to revise its indecency policy.

This issue was not a freedom of speech issue, but a property rights one.  The Federal government owns, or presumes to own, the broadcast airwaves with the FCC being the agency in charge of managing those airwaves.  Since the Federal government owns the “public” airwaves, that means they are free to regulate them however they see fit.  The Supreme Court confirmed as much in their ruling.

Until the private owners of these stations are given full ownership of the actual frequency they broadcast on, the Federal government will always be there to regulate their “speech” and they are right to do so.  I say, allow the various radio and television broadcast frequencies to be owned by the providers themselves and get rid of the FCC licensing fees.

Then you can have true freedom of speech.

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