Justice Anthony Kennedy (CCL)
In mid-October, I began a Top Ten List of cases the U.S. Supreme Court will (or will probably) hear this term.
Why, you naturally ask.
Because 2011-2012 may be the most landscape-changing SCOTUS term in decades. After years full of corporate cases, the high court’s docket this October Term* is filling up with cases dealing with freedom of speech, freedom of religion, personal and states’ rights, and maybe even gay “marriage” and Obamacare.
*Geek Tip #1: October Term
The Court works on a yearly calendar. By statute, their year starts on the first Monday in October. So “October Term, 2011″ is the Court’s 2011-2012 season. But you can just casually refer to it as October Term and everyone will think you’re some big-shot constitutional lawyer.
Well, it’s worth a try, anyway.
You can see my first two Top Ten posts, cases ten through six, here and here.
.And now, ladies and gentlemen, without further ado, I bring you . . .
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg (CCL)
5. FCC v. Fox Television
Background: Remember George Carlin and his “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television”? (No? Well, I do. But just barely, of course.) That’s what prompted the FCC, back in 1975, to prohibit “sustained” or “repeated” uses of “indecent” language on the air.
Fast forward to 2003. During a Golden Globes acceptance speech, U2’s Bono called his award “really, really fucking brilliant.” After viewer complaints about Bono’s language (and similar language from Nicole Richie and Cher) the FCC tightened its policy, saying that even “fleeting expletives” would be subject to fines.