Third Circuit Orders Stay For FCC Rules
CBC Sees Ruling an Important Victory
Capitol Broadcasting Company and its partners in challenging the Federal Communications Commission’s media de-regulation ruling won a major victory in court on Wednesday, September 3, 2003. The Third Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals in Philadelphia granted a stay of the rules pending judicial review.
“At issue in this litigation are changes adopted by the FCC that would significantly alter the agency’s ownership rules for multiple media properties, including national television networks, local broadcast affiliates, radio stations, and newspapers,” reads the ruling. “…The harm to petitioners absent a stay would be the likely loss of an adequate remedy should the new ownership rules be declared invalid in whole or in part.”
CBC partnered with a coalition of watchdog groups including the Communications Workers of America, Consumers Union, US Catholic Conference of Bishops and Parents TV Council, in the filing. The Media Access Project is serving as the group’s attorneys.
“The court’s decision to hear oral argument [on Sept 3] demonstrates the weighty nature of citizens’ requests that the rules be stayed,” said Cheryl Leanza, Deputy Director of MAP. “As compared with the FCC, which has not even dignified repeated requests for a stay with a response, the federal court recognized rules of this magnitude should not necessarily go into effect while their legality is considered.” ongress is now Oct. 3, after which time all bills still pending will expire.