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Sable Communications of California, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commn.

United States Supreme Court
492 U.S. 115 (1989)


Facts

In 1983, Sable Communications of California, Inc. (SCC) (plaintiff) began offering sexually oriented prerecorded telephone messages through the Pacific Bell telephone network. In 1988, the Communication Act of 1934 was amended to include an outright ban on indecent as well as obscene interstate commercial telephone messages. SCC challenged the new statute in federal district court against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (defendant), on the grounds that the statute violated the First Amendment. The district court upheld the FCC’s ban on obscene phone messages, but not on indecent messages. SCC appealed to the United States Supreme Court.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

The holding and reasoning section includes:

  • 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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