CBS “wardrobe malfunction” fine back in court

College of Communication Professor T. Barton Carter, an authority on communication law and an FCC expert, said the Supreme Court ordering a lower-court review of the fine against CBS for the Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” at the 2004 Superbowl means that case still has a long way to go in light of the high court’s similar ruling last week about “fleeting expletives” involving Fox television.

“This is not unexpected given last week’s ruling in Fox. However, there is just enough of a factual difference that the lower court could still find the same way as before. If not, then just as in Fox case the court will have to address the First Amendment challenges to the indecency rules. The bottom line is that this is far from over.”

Contact T. Barton Carter, 617-353-3482,

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