Minority Television Project, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission is a case, currently under petition for certiorari to the Supreme Court, that seeks to overturn the current legal standard set in Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC. In Red Lion, the Supreme Court held that the FCC has broad authority to regulate broadcast television in the “public interest.” Minority Television Project is an independent television station in San Francisco that has found FCC regulations to be too restrictive and is challenging them on First Amendment Grounds.
Thomas Hazlett is included in an amicus brief filed with the Supreme Court on behalf of former FCC officials supporting the argument that the FCC should not have constitutional authority to impose such strict sanctions on broadcast networks. Dr. Hazlett argues that the primary justification for the FCC’s authority, that there exists a scarcity of public airwaves that necessitates more government control, is no longer relevant in a world with numerous and diverse options such as cable, satellite and internet.
The full amicus brief can be read here.