Turner Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission

Turner Broadcasting V. Federal Communications Commission

Turner Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission

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Turner Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission, 512 U.S. 622 (1994), is the second of two United States Supreme Court cases dealing with the must carry rules imposed on cable television companies. Turner Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission (I) was the first. Turner I established that cable television companies were indeed 1.) First Amendment speakers but didn't decide whether the federal regulation of their speech trenched upon their speech rights. Under the Miami Herald v. Tornillo case, it was unconstitutional to force a newspaper to run a story the editors would not have included absent a government statute because it was compelled speech which could not pass the strict scrutiny of a compelling state interest being achieved with the least restrictive means necessary to achieve the state interest. However, under the rule of Red Lion the High Court held that a federal agency could regulate broadcast stations (TV and Radio) with far greater discretion. In order for federal agency regulation of broadcast media to pass constitutional muster, it need only serve an important state interest and need not narrowly tailor its regulation to the least restrictive means. CONCURRENCE (Stevens)
  • Congress’ policy judgment is entitled to substantial deference
  • Statute did not regulate the content of speech and therefore does not require the court to examine it with heightened scrutiny


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