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Janet Jackson Court Case Pushed Back

The Janet Jackson and broadcast profanity court cases will now move in lockstep.

The Federal Court hearing CBS' challenge to the Janet Jackson case (the Third Circuit) has granted the network's request for an extension of time to file its opening brief so that the case's briefing schedule will essentially mirror the schedule for briefs in the broadcaster's other challenge to four profanity decisions (in the Second Circuit).

CBS' briefs were due Sept. 27, but will now not be due until Nov. 20, the court said Wednesday, with respondent briefs due 14 days after that and replies to those seven days later.

At a three-judge panel of a Federal Appeals Court in New York Aug. 29, one of the judges asked why the FCC was pushing for an expedited hearing in the Third Circuit of CBS’ challenge to the Jackson fine.

The FCC lawyer, Eric Miller, said that, while CBS had had three chances to make its arguments in the Jackson case, the FCC had not had the opportunity to hear all sides of the argument in the four profanity rulings.

The network had asked on Sept. 18 that the court change the briefing's 48-hour extension of the comment deadline until after the court had ruled on the initial extension request. The latter motion was mooted by the court's decision Wednesday.

The Jackson case will now move along the same track as the profanity case, which has a Nov. 20, Dec. 4 and Dec. 11 briefing schedule. That means neither case is likely to be decided before sometime next year.