Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Authority of States to Ban Cable TV Material Limited/by Supreme Court

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Authority of States to Ban Cable TV Material Limited/by Supreme Court

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON (AP) - The authority of all states to ban "indecent" material from cable television was limited Monday by the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court, by a 7-2 vote, upheld a ruling that barred Utah officials from banning sexually explicit material and nudity from cable broadcasts except during the hours of midnight to 7 a.m.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist and Justice Sandra Day O'Connor voted to hear arguments in the case, but four votes are needed to grant such review.

The ruling was announced in a one-sentence decision affirming a federal appeals court's ruling.

Ten states joined Utah in urging the Supreme Court to permit regulation of indecent material on cable TV. They are Arizona, Kansas, Mississippi, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Washington and West Virginia.

"The transmission of sexually explicit programs by cable television into homes where cable television is desired but sexually explicit programming is not has become in recent years a matter of grave concern to many states," they said.

The Utah Legislature passed the Cable Decency Act in 1983, making it a public nuisance for cable TV to show indecent material. The law carried fines of up to $10,000 for repeat offenders.

The statute defined indecent material to include "the visual or verbal depiction or description of human sexual or excretory organs or functions. . .exposure of genitals, pubic area, buttocks, or the showing of any portion of the female breast below the top of the nipple."

The law banned such material if "the average person applying contemporary community standards for cable television. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.