Pro-family groups have accused the Obama administration of dragging its feet when it comes to safeguarding children from questionable television content.
At the center of the allegation is indecent material that was broadcast several years ago on the ABC and Fox networks.
The Federal Communications Commission issued fines in each of the cases, but New York's 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the FCC's broadcast policy was "unconstitutionally vague" and would create a "chilling effect" on speech.
Pro-family groups, like Concerned Women for America, believe the administration is trying to run the clock so it won't have to enforce decency standards.
"The Justice Department must appeal this case unless President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder are fine with throwing all standards of decency and all protection of children out the window when it comes to the television airwaves," CWA Chief Executive officer Penny Nance said in a released statement.
"Those airwaves belong to the public and no one supports dropping F-bombs on Good Morning America in the morning, or Dr. Phil in the afternoon, or American Idol in the evening. These activist judges have thumbed their noses at Congress, the FCC, and American families," she added.
"Broadcasters filed this case in New York because they knew this was a liberal activist court unlikely to uphold the decency standards. So the ball is in Obama's and Holder's court. Will they defend American families and children or not?" Nance asked.
The Parents Television Council has warned that inaction could make broadcast television look a lot like programming on the pay movie cable channel Home Box Office.