Bliley To Kennard "Reverse Directive Restricting
Michael deHaven Newsom
mnewsom at LAW.HOWARD.EDU
Fri Jan 28 14:47:11 PST 2000
I appreciate that I may be beating a dead horse, but if one does not treat
coercion as a relevant basis for distinguishing between education and
religious exhortation etc., then what could serve as a proper basis for
maintaining the distinction that so upsets Congressman Bliley?
If not coercion, then what? Or maybe nothing at all, and thus the FCC cannot
make the distinction. Perhaps the relevant question is whether the FCC
should make such distinctions. I think that it should precisely because I
believe that religious speech can have coercive effect on some people. I
recognize that others disagree with me, but I would be curious to know
whether those who disagree with me on the coercion point agree with me that
the FCC should be able to make the distinctions that Bliley so dislikes.
Michael deHaven Newsom
School of Law
Harold M Hallikainen wrote:
> >From the House Commerce Committee at (watch for long URL wrap!)
> Washington (January 27) - Commerce Chairman Tom Bliley (R-VA)
> today demanded that FCC Chairman William Kennard and
> Commission withdraw its recent "guidance" restricting
> religious speech.
> Bliley added that if the Commission does not act
> immediately, he will be
> forced to formally introduce a House Resolution urging
> the FCC to
> reverse it's decision.
> "In handing down the Cornerstone decision the FCC is
> not just stifling
> religious expression but trampling on the First
> Amendment to the
> Constitution," Bliley said.
> "Chairman Kennard and the FCC must reverse this
> misguided action
> restricting religious speech immediately. If they don't
> do their job,
> Congress will do it for them."
> Chairman Bliley plans to introduce the attached House
> Monday, January 31, 2000.
> The attached PDF file of the proposed resolution reads...
> To urge the Federal Communications Commission to recon-sider
> and withdraw additional restrictions on the treat-ment
> of religious broadcasting.
> SECTION. 1. FINDINGS.
> The Congress finds the following:
> (1) In the Federal Communications Commis-
> sions opinion and order in In Re Applications of
> WQED Pittsburgh and Cornerstone Television, Inc.
> (99-393, released December 29, 1999), the Commis-
> sion attempted to establish, in the form of addi-
> tional guidance rather than by revision of its regu-
> lations, additional service requirements on non-
> commercial educational television licensees.
> (2) These additional service requirements
> (A) quantify the obligation of noncommer-
> cial licensees to primarily serve the educational
> needs of the community by requiring that more
> than half of the hours of programming aired on
> a reserved noncommercial channel must pri-
> marily serve an educational, instructional, or
> cultural purpose in the stations community of
> license; and
> (B) exclude from credit for service pro-
> gramming that is devoted to religious exhor-
> tation, proselytizing, or statements of person-
> ally-held religious views and beliefs.
> (3) While the Constitution prohibits the Gov-
> ernment from taking actions that promote the estab-
> lishment of religion, the Constitution likewise pro-
> hibits actions that stifle religious expression.
> (4) By taking a precipitous action in this case
> to impose a substantial change in the rules gov-
> erning noncommercial broadcasting, the Commission
> has intruded the Government into a kind of content
> FCC Rules Online at http://hallikainen.com/FccRules
> Lighting control for theatre and television at http://www.dovesystems.com
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