Minority Television Project, Inc. v. FCC, et al., No. 09-17311 (9th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
This case arose when the FCC found that Minority had "willfully and repeatedly" violated 47 U.S.C. 399b when it broadcasted paid promotional messages on its radio station from for-profit corporations. The statute was a a content-based ban on speech: public broadcasters could transmit many types of speech, but, unlike most other stations, they could not transmit three classes of advertising messages. Minority contended that section 399b was an unconstitutional content-based restriction on speech because it banned all paid public issue and political speech while permitting promotional messages by non-profits. The court applied intermediate scrutiny and upheld the ban on the transmission of advertisements for goods and services by for-profit entities, but the court struck down as unconstitutional the ban on public issue and political advertisements.