From our private database of 14,100+ case briefs...
Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. Federal Communications Commn.
United States Supreme Court
395 U.S. 367 (1969)
The “fairness doctrine” of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant) imposes on radio and television broadcasters the requirement that discussion of public issues be presented on broadcast stations, and that each side of those issues be given fair coverage. The fairness doctrine also incorporates protection from personal attacks in the context of controversial public issues. An author felt he was attacked by guests on a radio show operated by Red Lion Broadcasting Co. (Red Lion) (plaintiff). He filed a complaint with the FCC against Red Lion after the broadcaster refused to grant him additional airtime to reply to the offensive broadcast, arguing that Red Lion’s actions violated the fairness doctrine. Red Lion challenged the fairness doctrine. In the Red Lion suit, the court of appeals upheld the FCC’s decision that Red Lion failed to comply with the fairness doctrine and should provide the offended author with reply time. During this litigation, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rule Making with an eye to making the personal attack aspect of the fairness doctrine more precise and more readily enforceable, along with specifying its rules relating to political editorials. RTNDA (plaintiff) brought an action to review the FCC’s promulgation of these personal attack and political editorializing regulations. In the RTNDA suit, the court of appeals held that the FCC’s two new rules were unconstitutional violations of the First Amendment. The United States Supreme Court granted certiorari.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (White, 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 97,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Vanderbilt, Berkeley, and the University of Illinois—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students. Read 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. Read more about Quimbee.
Here's why 218,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
- Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 14,100 briefs, keyed to 189 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.