Regulation of Indecency in Political Broadcasting

The article considers both the constitutional and statutory aspects of the regulation of indecency in political broadcasting. The discussion is limited to considering “indecency,” a term excluding obscenity or incitement to violence, because the government’s power to regulate these types of speech is well established. Indecent speech would be protected if used in the print media, since it does not fall within the established First Amendment exceptions. The basic constitutional question, therefore, is whether the broadcast media are inherently different from the print media, so as to justify different treatment of indecent political speech. This article will contend that they are not inherently different.