I haven't read the Second Circuit's decency ruling yet, but I liked this moment from today's New York Times coverage of the decision. The story quotes FCC chairman Kevin Martin as saying, "'The court says the commission is "divorced from reality." It is the New York court, not the commission, that is divorced from reality.'" He adds that if the agency is unable to prohibit some vulgarities during prime time, "'Hollywood will be able to say anything they want, whenever they want.'"
How subtle! The problem lies not with the law, the Commission, or even the ruling as such; it's those potty-mouthed hedonists living in our bicoastal Sodom and Gomorrah, New York and "Hollywood." And the Second Circuit is not a multi-state federal circuit, it's "the New York court." Thank goodness we have folks from the moral, non-licentious, non-vulgar heartland of America -- or, anyways, Washington, D.C. -- to set us straight.
For the record: The three-judge Second Circuit panel that issued yesterday's opinion does indeed feature two New Yorkers -- but one of them, Pierre Leval (Aha! A French name! It just gets worse and worse!), wrote the dissent. The third judge, Peter Hall, who joined the majority opinion, sits in that notorious den of sin, Vermont. (Too many trips to Foley Square have warped his sensibilities, presumably.) Judge Hall was appointed to the Second Circuit by the current President Bush.