During oral arguments on the constitutionality of FCC indecency rules that prohibit the utterance of “fleeting expletives” on live television, a three-judge panel of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals suggested it is not enough that the FCC’s purpose is to protect children, as they took issue with the vagueness of the policy suggesting it might leave broadcasters without “any idea what they can broadcast.” Last week’s hearing was the second on the subject conducted by the Second Circuit, which, in 2005, determined that a 2004 FCC order that declared unscripted utterances of the “f-word” on live broadcasts of the Golden Globe and Billboard Music award shows to be indecent was “arbitrary and capricious.” Although the U.S. Supreme Court later reversed the court’s 2005 order upon concluding that the FCC acted reasonably, the high court returned the matter to the Second Circuit for further consideration of the constitutional implications of the FCC’s policy. Noting that the FCC has allowed fleeting utterances of profanity on news programs in spite of punishing the same utterances on other broadcasts, Judge Peter Hall questioned: “how do the children figure this out,” as they “are still hearing the same words?” As Hall observed that “the equities are vague themselves so that networks aren’t sure where the line is at all,” Judge Pierre Leval cited the chilling effect of the FCC’s inconsistent enforcement, quipping, “you know what a good lawyer will say—when in doubt, don’t run it.” Seeking to allay the judges’ concerns, acting FCC deputy general counsel Jacob Lewis explained that the FCC “bends over backwards” to enforce its broadcast indecency rules with an eye toward context and with respect for the judgment of news and program editors.