FCC v. Pacifica Foundation

1978 landmark US Supreme Court case / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Federal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, 438 U.S. 726 (1978), was a landmark decision of the US Supreme Court that defined the power of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over indecent material as applied to broadcasting.[1]

Quick facts: FCC v. Pacifica Foundation, Argued April 18–1...
FCC v. Pacifica Foundation
Argued April 18–19, 1978
Decided July 3, 1978
Full case nameFederal Communications Commission v. Pacifica Foundation, et al.
Citations438 U.S. 726 (more)
98 S. Ct. 3026; 57 L. Ed. 2d 1073; 1978 U.S. LEXIS 135; 43 Rad. Reg. 2d (P & F) 493; 3 Media L. Rep. 2553
Case history
PriorComplaint granted, 56 F.C.C.2d 94 (1975); reversed, 556 F.2d 9 (D.C. Cir. 1977); cert. granted, 434 U.S. 1008 (1978).
Because of the pervasive nature of broadcasting, it has less First Amendment protection than other forms of communication. The F.C.C. was justified in concluding that Carlin's "Filthy Words" broadcast, though not obscene, was indecent, and subject to restriction.
Court membership
Chief Justice
Warren E. Burger
Associate Justices
William J. Brennan Jr. · Potter Stewart
Byron White · Thurgood Marshall
Harry Blackmun · Lewis F. Powell Jr.
William Rehnquist · John P. Stevens
Case opinions
MajorityStevens (Parts I, II, III, and IV-C), joined by Burger, Blackmun, Rehnquist, Powell
ConcurrenceStevens (Parts IV-A and IV-B), joined by Burger, Rehnquist
ConcurrencePowell, joined by Blackmun
DissentBrennan, joined by Marshall
DissentStewart, joined by Brennan, White, Marshall
Laws applied
U.S. Const. amend. I; 18 U.S.C. § 1464