From our private database of 33,800+ case briefs...
Columbia Broadcasting System v. Democratic National Committee
United States Supreme Court
412 U.S. 94 (1973)
The Democratic National Committee (DNC) and an association called Business Executives Move for Vietnam Peace (BEM) (plaintiffs) tried unsuccessfully to buy airtime to express views on social and political issues. The DNC brought a lawsuit against the Columbia Broadcasting System (defendant) asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to declare that broadcasters could not refuse to sell airtime to entities like the DNC to raise funds and disseminate commentary on public issues. The BEM brought a similar suit against Washington, D.C., radio station WTOP (defendant). The FCC issued simultaneous orders in both suits refusing to declare that the broadcaster had to sell the DNC and BEM airtime. The DNC and BEM both appealed. The appellate court reversed in both cases, reasoning that a broadcaster enforcing a fixed policy of refusing editorial advertisements violated the First Amendment. The Supreme Court consolidated the appeals and granted review.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Burger, C.J.)
What to do next…
Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.
You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 606,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.
Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee
Here's why 606,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 33,800 briefs, keyed to 984 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
- The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
- Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
- Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.