Media & Communications Policy

Media & Communications Policy

Issues & Developments in the Realm of Communications and Media Policy & the First Amendment

Category Archives: Media jurisprudence

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A Court Strangely Conflicted About Indecency

Posted in Broadcast Indecency, Content Controls, FCC, First Amendment, Free speech, Media jurisprudence
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, professor of law, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. "You taught me language, and my profit on't is I know how to curse." - Caliban in The Tempest Here's a question the late language maven, William Safire, might have pondered listening to the recent Supreme Court oral argument in the Fox and ABC broadcast indecency cases. What is truly "indecent" in the normative, Webster's Third sense of the word as "not conforming to generally accepted standards of morality"… Continue Reading

D.C. Circuit’s ‘Net Neutrality’ Decision

Posted in Broadband, Cable TV, FCC, Media jurisprudence, Media Regulation, Network Neutrality
The D.C. Circuit Court’s decision, while obviously correct, will not slake the thirst of anyone looking for intellectual arguments for or against the FCC’s proposed regulation of the ISPs’ network-management practices. Because the court ruled that the FCC lacked the "ancillary" authority it asserted, the body of the decision amounts to little more than a … Continue Reading

A Unitary First Amendment – Redux

Posted in Broadcasting, Cable TV, Campaign Finance, FCC, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Media Legislation, Media Regulation, Public Interest Standard, Satellite Communications
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz. “[W]e don’t put our First Amendment rights in the hands of [government] bureaucrats.”  What an extraordinary statement for the Chief Justice of the United States to … Continue Reading

Back to Square One

Posted in Broadcast Indecency, Broadcasting, Content Controls, FCC, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Media Regulation
Two of the Supreme Court’s decisions most awaited by First Amendment advocates this term have landed with a thud.  Or maybe a whimper.  But certainly not with a bang. On April 28, the Court upheld the FCC’s power to implement a tougher policy against so-called “fleeting expletives” on live television.  This was the Second Circuit’s … Continue Reading

A Unitary First Amendment

Posted in Broadcasting, Cable TV, Campaign Finance, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Satellite Communications
By guest blogger LAURENCE H. WINER, Professor of Law and Faculty Fellow, Center for Law, Science & Technology, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University, Tempe, Ariz.   In last week’s Supreme Court oral argument of the “Hillary: the Movie” case, Citizens United v. F.E.C., the government attorney apparently perplexed several of the … Continue Reading

The FCC, Indecency, and the Rule of Law

Posted in Broadcast Indecency, Content Controls, First Amendment, Media jurisprudence, Media Regulation
Call it a victory for the rule of law.  And a victory for common sense. On July 21, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit overturned the Federal Communications Commission’s fine against CBS televisions stations for airing the Janet Jackson Super Bowl incident. As you might remember, this was the so-called “wardrobe malfunction” … Continue Reading

The Threat to Free Speech Is Just Across the Border

Posted in First Amendment, Journalism, Libel, Media jurisprudence, Publishing
Note to American journalists: Step across the border into Canada and you will give up every vestige of your right to free speech and free press. If you write a piece that someone finds offensive or that merely hurts his feelings, you may end up facing trial before one of Canada’s “human rights” tribunals that … Continue Reading