Appeals Panel Sides Again With CBS Over Super Bowl Halftime Show ‘Wardrobe Malfunction’ Fine

A federal appeals court has upheld its finding that the Federal Communications Commissions acted improperly in fining CBS over the fleeting exposure of Janet Jackson’s breast during the 2004 Super Bowl halftime show.

A three-judge panel from 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia ruled Wednesday that the FCC improperly assessed a $550,000 fine against the network for the so-called “wardrobe malfunction” that lasted just over half a second.

The Supreme Court had asked the lower court to review its previous decision in light of a case involving FOX and profanity uttered on live television.

The majority opinion found the FCC had “arbitrarily and capriciously departed from its prior policy excepting fleeting broadcast material” in assessing the fine.

The same panel initially sided with the network in 2008.

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