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Congress

Justice Appeals Indecency Ruling

April 21, 2011

The Justice Department Thursday asked the Supreme Court to reverse a federal appeals court ruling that tossed out an indecency fine leveled by the Federal Communications Commission against ABC for a 2003 episode of "NYPD Blue."

Citing a 2010 ruling it made in a separate case, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in January ruled that the FCC's $1.2 million fine against ABC for briefly airing a female character's nude buttocks during the NYPD Blue episode was "unconstitutionally vague."

The Parents Television Council praised the Obama administration's decision to appeal the ruling.

"Today's appeal is a step in the right direction, but we urge the U.S. Supreme Court to consider the children and families who will be impacted if the broadcast decency law is dismantled," the council said in a statement. "The high court must not give the broadcast networks the opportunity to use narrow, misguided circuit court rulings to nullify the will of the American people, the intent of the U.S. Congress and several decades of Supreme Court precedent."

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