Jacob Sullum on the FCC's Increasingly Incomprehensible Ban on Broadcast Indecency


Three decades ago, in FCC v. Pacifica, the Supreme Court upheld content-based regulation of broadcasting on the grounds that the medium was "uniquely pervasive" and "uniquely accessible to children." In January the Court heard a case that gives it an opportunity to renounce this obsolete doctrine once and for all. Senior Editor Jacob Sullum says such a ruling is long overdue, since Pacifica has allowed arbitrary censorship based on assumptions that were always questionable and are now technologically obsolete.