Here we go again -- or, the Bush years live on.

As the nation faces monumental economic, wartime and cultural crises, the Supreme Court  has decided to concern itself with the Janet Jackson "wardrobe  malfunction" that took place on CBS during halftime of the 2004 Super Bowl game.

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In connection with its ruling last week that the Federal Communications Commission does indeed have the power to fine broadcasters for airing "fleeting expletives," like the one U2's Bono uttered during an awards show, the Supreme Court Monday ordered the 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia to re-consider its ruling that dismissed a $550,000 fine against CBS for airing the Super Bowl show that included Jackson's breast baring moment.

Last year, the appeals court threw out the fine against CBS Corp., saying the FCC strayed from its long-held approach of applying identical standards to spoken words and images when reviewing complaints of indecency.

But the FCC appealed the ruling to the Supreme Court. The case has been put on hold as the justices dealt with a challenge to the FCC's policy on fleeting expletives.

In keeping with the decision last week on language, the conservative high court Monday called for the re-examination of the Janet Jackson ruling with an order to the appeals court to consider re-instating the $550,000 fine against CBS.

As I said last week, such fines will have an even more repressive effect on broadcasters in these dire economic times. I understand and have written extensively about the Jackson moment as a microcosm of the culture wars that still rage in this country. But you have to wonder why the George-Bush-influenced FCC and Supreme Court won't let this relatively trivial matter rest after five years -- especially with the nation in such crisis on so many other fronts.

(Above: Associated Press file photo of Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake at the 2004 Super Bowl by David Phillip)

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