Lifestyle & Belief

FCC appeals Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction case to the Supreme Court


Singers Janet Jackson and surprise guest Justin Timberlake perform during the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXVIII between the New England Patriots and the Carolina Panthers at Reliant Stadium on February 1, 2004 in Houston, Texas. At the end of the performance, Timberlake tore away a piece of Jackson's outfit.


Frank Micelotta

The FCC filed an appeal for the Supreme Court to review the dismissal of their case against CBS over Janet Jackson's infamous "wardrobe malfunction" incident at the 2004 Super Bowl, CNN reported

The exposure of Jackson’s breast, which lasted less than a second during the 2004 football championship's halftime show, garnered national attention and started a legal war between the FCC and the network that broadcast the sporting event to an audience of about 90 million, according to the Los Angeles Times

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On Tuesday, the US Federal Communications Commission petitioned the high court to review the Second Circuit's decision to throw out their $550,000 fine against CBS, during which they called the FCC's indecency policy "arbitrary and capricious," Multichannel News reported

The Third Circuit, the court that originally overturned the fine, denied the FCC's appeals to rehear the case in January 2012, the Hill reported

The FCC requested that the Supreme Court hold off on the case until it has ruled on the Communications Commission's challenge of another indecency filing against Fox for broadcasting profanity on an awards show, according to Multichannel news. The Supreme Court is expected to weigh in on the Fox case within the next few months.

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"The court's decision in Fox II may shed light on the proper resolution of this case," said Solicitor General Donald Verrilli, whose office handles Supreme Court arguments for the FCC, Multichannel News reported. "This petition therefore should be held for Fox II and then disposed of as appropriate in light of the court's decision."

CBS has a month to formally reply in writing to the Supreme Court, and most expect the network to ask the justices to stay out of the case, according to CNN.

The review will most likely not be accepted or denied by the court until June or later, CNN reported.