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The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Jan. 10 in the long running battle over the FCC’s ability to fine TV stations that broadcast so-called “fleeting” expletives.

The high court’s decision in FCC vs. Fox Television Stations, stemming from fleeting expletives uttered by Cher and Nicole Richie in separate “Billboard Music Awards” telecasts, has the potential to scale back the FCC’s authority to police indecent content on TV, but the justices also could issue a narrower ruling.

The court in 2009 ruled in favor of the government, but those were on procedural grounds. It then sent the case back to the appellate court, which again ruled that the FCC’s method of policing content was so arbitrary and vague that it stifled free speech.

The the two questions that the justices will consider:

1. Whether the court of appeals erred in invalidating a finding by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that a broadcast including expletives was indecent within the meaning of statutory and regulatory prohibitions on indecent broadcasts, on the ground that the FCC’s context-based approach to determining indecency is unconstitutionally vague in its entirety.

2. Whether the court of appeals erred in invalidating a finding by the FCC that a broadcast including nudity was indecent within the meaning of statutory and regulatory prohibitions on indecent broadcasts, on the ground that the FCC’s context-based approach to determining indecency is unconstitutionally vague in its entirety.