Essay Title: 

Businness Law

March 24, 2016 | Author: | Posted in business, mathematics and economics

United States et al . v . Playboy Entertainment Group , Inc

No . 98-1682 May 22 , 2000

Facts Playboy Entertainment Group , Inc (Playboy ) challenged the constitutionality of Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 which requires cable TV operators providing channels dedicated to sexually-oriented programming to either fully scramble or fully block these channels or limit their transmission to hours when children are unlikely to be viewing (10 pm to 6 pm

Issue Does Section 505 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 violate the First Amendment

Ruling Yes . Content-based restriction on speech [banner_entry_middle]

violates the First Amendment because the government could have achieved its purpose by using less restrictive means

Analysis There is a heavy presumption against the constitutionality of any regulation of free expression . For content-based regulation to be valid , it must

Be narrowly tailored to promote a compelling government interest

Use the least restrictive means to carry out that interest

It is the burden of the government to prove that the least restrictive means was used . In this case , the government failed

One possible less restrictive means could be the use of Section 504 of the same law , which says that the cable operator must fully scramble or block the channels upon the request of the subscriber . This section is more appropriate because it does not give a blanket censorship upon all subscribers but allows those persons who wish to avail of such filters and censorships depending on their personal needs

Minority Rationale (s ) Concurring (Stevens : The very fact that the programs marketed by Playboy are offensive to many viewers provides a justification for protecting , not penalizing , truthful statements about their content

Concurring (Thomas : I am unwilling , in the absence of factual findings or advocacy of the position , to rely on the view that some of the relevant programming is obscene

Dissent (Scalia : It is not only children who can be protected from occasional uninvited exposure to what appellee calls adult-oriented programming we can all be . Section 505 covers only businesses that engage in the `commercial exploitation of erotica solely for the sake of their prurient appeal

Dissent (Breyer : Congress has taken seriously the importance of maintaining adult access to the sexually explicit channels here at issue . It has tailored the restrictions to minimize their impact upon adults while offering parents help in keeping unwanted transmissions from their children . By finding adequate alternatives ‘ where there are , the Court reduces Congress ‘ protective power to the vanishing point . That is not what the First Amendment demands

Comments This case reminds us that the Freedom of Speech and Expression is protected by the Constitution and any attempt to regulate expression must stand the strict standards set by the Supreme Court

Follow-Up Questions ( see Appendix A for follow up questions on your specific brief

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6 . According to jurisprudence , commercial speech is given less protection under the First Amendment than political speech because the latter is more consistent with the purpose of the protection of free speech , which is… [banner_entry_footer]

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