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When Does F*** Not Mean F***: FCC v. Fox Television Stations and a Call for Protecting Emotive Speech

Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, p. 1, 2011

46 Pages Posted: 23 Jan 2012  

W. Wat Hopkins

Virginia Tech

Date Written: 2011

Abstract

The Supreme Court of the United States doesn’t always deal cogently with non-traditional language. The most recent example is FCC v. Fox Television Stations, in which the justices became sidetracked into attempting to define the f-word and then to determine whether, when used as a fleeting expletive rather than repeatedly, the word is indecent for broadcast purposes. The Court would do well to avoid definitions and heed Justice John Marshall Harlan’s advice in Cohen v. California to provide protection for the emotive, as well as the cognitive, element of speech.

Suggested Citation

Hopkins, W. Wat, When Does F*** Not Mean F***: FCC v. Fox Television Stations and a Call for Protecting Emotive Speech (2011). Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, p. 1, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1989478

W. Wat Hopkins (Contact Author)

Virginia Tech ( email )

Blacksburg, VA 24061
United States
540-231-9833 (Phone)

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