A federal appeals panel appeared ready and eager Wednesday to overturn as a First Amendment violation the Federal Communications Commission rule banning even the one-time utterance of “fleeting expletives” on the airwaves.

Judges Rosemary S. Pooler, Pierre N. Leval and Peter W. Hall of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals went after FCC lawyer Jacob Lewis hard, attacking the commission’s policy as vague and chilling to free speech.

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