Justices Toss Fines Over Janet Jackson Super Bowl Incident


The lights are on at the Supreme Court a quarter past nine on Tuesday, June 19, 2012. The justices will hand down rulings on 15 cases before the end of the month, including FCC policies against TV indecency.

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By Bill Mears

CNN Supreme Court Producer

WASHINGTON (CNN) — The Supreme Court has tossed out government fines against CBS Inc. and its affiliates for airing the infamous shot of brief nudity involving singer Janet Jackson during the 2004 Super Bowl.

This follows the court’s separate ruling this month in favor of broadcast television networks. The justices said in that free-speech dispute that the Federal Communications Commission imposed unfair punishment for isolated profanity and sexual content during evening “prime time” hours.

The FCC had imposed a $550,000 fine against CBS and its affiliates for airing the “wardrobe malfunction” incident involving Jackson during the Super Bowl’s halftime show.

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