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National Broadcasting Co. v. United States

319 U.S. 190 (1943)

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National Broadcasting Co. v. United States

United States Supreme Court

319 U.S. 190 (1943)

Facts

In 1934 Congress enacted the Communications Act (the Act), creating the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant) and granting the FCC the power to grant broadcast licenses according to public interest, convenience, or necessity. Congress intended for the FCC to maximize the benefits of public radio in the United States and encourage its use. In 1941 the FCC decided to regulate radio stations that engaged in chain broadcasting. After a series of public hearings that gave interested parties the opportunity to testify, the FCC publishing its findings and adopted several regulations meant to reduce abusive network practices that the FCC deemed to be against the public interest. The National Broadcasting Company (NBC) (plaintiff) challenged the FCC’s regulations on several grounds. NBC argued that the FCC went beyond its statutory authority in enacting the regulations. Further, NBC argued that if the Act did grant the FCC the authority to promulgate regulations, the grant of authority was an unconstitutional delegation of Congress’s legislative power. The district court upheld the FCC’s regulations, and the court of appeals affirmed. NBC appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Frankfurter, J.)

Dissent (Murphy, J.)

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