Janet Jackson’s breast makes a reappearance
Singer’s ‘wardrobe malfunction’ at the 2004 Super Bowl exercises America’s highest court
The US Supreme Court, which down the years has considered such weighty matters as the right to abortion and voter discrimination - hence the fuss over who should replace Justice David Souter following his recent resignation - has ruled on the ongoing matter of Janet Jackson's infamous 'wardrobe malfunction' at the 2004 Super Bowl.
This was the moment when, as 90 million TV viewers watched Jackson accompanying Justin Timberlake in the half-time music spectacle, Jackson's right breast popped out of her bra. More than half a million complaints were received by CBS and the federal communications watchdog, the FCC, fined the TV company $550,000 for airing it.
In July last year, an appeal court threw out the FCC fine, ruling that since the glimpse of Jackson's breast lasted all of nine-sixteenths of a second, it was a 'fleeting moment', and anyway CBS could not be held liable for the malfunction of Jackson's bra.
But the Supreme Court is having none of it. 'Fleeting' is no excuse: only last week the same nine-member bench upheld the FCC's policy of threatening fines against even the fleeting use of a swear word on live television. The Supreme Court has ordered the appeal court to revisit the Jackson/CBS case and consider reinstating the fine. ·
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