Panelists to Debate Merits of U.S. Supreme Court Case on FCC Regulation of "Indecent" Broadcasts


Washington, D.C., February 3, 2012 - Free speech advocates and proponents of regulation will be among a group of American University Washington College of Law panelists on Wednesday, Feb. 8, debating the merits of the First Amendment arguments in FCC v. Fox Television. The case was argued before the United States Supreme Court Jan. 10.

At issue is the Federal Communications Commission ban on television broadcasts it considers "indecent" and whether the agency’s enforcement policy restrains speech unconstitutionally. When the case was first in front of the Supreme Court in April 2009, the justices narrowly upheld the FCC's ban on four-letter words. The justices will weigh the FCC's ban on content featuring four-letter words and brief nude scenes.

Freedom of Speech and Freedom from Harm:
Debating the FCC's Indecency Regulations as Framed by FCC v. Fox Television
American University Washington College of Law, Room 603
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC
Wednesday, Feb. 8
Noon - 2 p.m.


Speakers include:


  • Christopher Wright, partner, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP, former FCC General Counsel


Supporting the current regulations:

  • Craig Parshall, senior vice president and general counsel, National Religious Broadcasters
  • Dr. Chris Gacek, senior fellow of Regulatory Policy, Family Research Council

Opposing the current regulations:

  • David Petron, partner, Sidley Austin LLP (for Fox Television)
  • Trevor Burrus, legal associate, Center for Constitutional Studies, Cato Institute

The event is presented by the Communications and Media Law Society and the Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property.

Visit the event website for more information or to register.

Media interested in attending the event should contact Megan Smith, (202) 274-4276.


About American University Washington College of Law

In 1896, American University Washington College of Law became the first law school in the country founded by women. More than 100 years since its founding, this law school community is grounded in the values of equality, diversity, and intellectual rigor. The law school's nationally and internationally recognized programs (in clinical legal education, trial advocacy, international law, and intellectual property to name a few) and dedicated faculty provide its 1700 JD, LL.M., and SJD students with the critical skills and values to have an immediate impact as students and as graduates, in Washington, DC and around the world. For more information, visit