Indecency Holdout Explains Her Vote


Janice Schakowsky, the single no vote in the House Commerce Committee’s 49-1 passage of tough new indecency restrictions, said her reasons were twofold.

In an explanation on her Web site (, the Illinois Democrat said the bill "could limit individuals’ rights to freedom of speech under the Constitution." Second, the bill did not take into account media consolidation and its possible correlation with "the increasing number of objectionable materials on the air."

Schakowsky did more than talk. She co-sponsored an amendment to the bill, later withdrawn, that would have rolled back the ownership cap from 39% to 35%. She also introduced a bill that would have killed the fine hike for performers. That was voted down and Schakowsky cast her no vote.

"I strongly believe in the First Amendment, and if I have to stand alone to defend, I will do it," Schakowsky said.