The U.S. Supreme Court announced today that it will not review a lower court decision that tossed the FCC’s $550,000 fine against CBS over Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show, according to TheWrap.com.
The FCC now faces the possibility of having to refund the fine to CBS.
A federal appeals court threw out the fine twice — in 2008 and again in 2011 after a Supreme Court ruling in a different case held that the FCC had leeway to regulate broadcast indecency.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts agreed with the other justices that the court would deny the review. But in a separate statement, Roberts indicated he was not completely sold on the logic behind the lower court’s ruling. "Any future ‘wardrobe malfunctions’ will not be protected," Roberts said.
In a statement, a CBS spokesperson said: "We are gratified to finally put this episode behind us. It’s been more than eight years since we expressed deep regret for the Super Bowl halftime show. As observers of this issue are aware, at that time we took immediate steps to implement delays on all live entertainment programs so that we could safeguard against similar incidents of unintended and spontaneous snippets of live broadcasts. Since then, all we ever sought was an affirmation of the long established policy of balanced, consistent and deliberate indecency enforcement the FCC had followed for decades before the incident.”