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Arkansas Educational Television Commn. v. Forbes

United States Supreme Court
523 U.S. 666 (1998)


Facts

Arkansas Education Television Commission (AETC) (defendant) was a public television broadcaster owned by the state of Arkansas. In 1992, AETC sponsored a series of political debates between Republican and Democratic candidates for Arkansas congressional offices. Independent candidates were not invited to participate in the debates. Forbes (plaintiff), an independent candidate, brought suit challenging the policy as a violation of the First Amendment in federal district court. The district court denied relief, but the court of appeals reversed. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Kennedy, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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Dissent (Stevens, J.)

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