The Tully Center for Free Speech

“Violence, Vulgarity, and the First Amendment” at Marquette University

Tully Center director Roy Gutterman sits on panel

Friday, September 16, 2011

12:00 pm EDT

Marquette University

Several distinguished media and First Amendment scholars will debate the constitutionality of government regulation of provocative media content. The event is being co-sponsored by the Law School and the Diederich College of Communication in recognition of Constitution Day. It is open to the public and food will be offered to attendees prior to the start.

The U.S. Supreme Court is preparing to hear arguments this fall in a broadcast indecency case – FCC v. Fox – that will address the legitimacy of government regulation of profanity, nudity, and other “indecent” television content. The case could transform the FCC’s approach in indecency cases and its ability to restrict television content.

The Fox case comes to the Court on the heels of the Court’s decision in Brown v. Entertainment Merchants this summer, in which the Court struck down the State of California’s attempts to restrict the sale of violent video games to minors. The panelists will reflect on the impact of Brown and preview arguments in Fox.  They will also explore the broader impact of these cases on the government’s ability to shield minors and others from dangerous or offensive content, and on the legitimacy of FCC’s broader approach to regulating media.

The panel will feature Amy Kristin Sanders, J.D., Ph.D., assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota; Roy S. Gutterman, J.D., director of the Tully Center for Free Speech at Syracuse University; and Peter Rofes, J.D., professor in the Marquette University Law School. Erik Ugland, J.D., Ph.D., associate dean for graduate studies and research in Marquette’s Diederich College of Communication, will moderate the panel.

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