Thursday, November 14, 2013

Arkansas Educational Television Commn. v. Forbes case brief

Arkansas Educational Television Commn. v. Forbes case brief summary
523 U.S. 666 (1998)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Petitioner was granted writ of certiorari on an order of summary judgment in favor of respondent from the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit under an action alleging U.S. Constitutional Amendment I violations for political viewpoint discrimination.

CASE FACTS
Writ of certiorari was granted on an order of summary judgment in favor of respondent under an action alleging that petitioner violated respondent's First Amendment, U.S. Constitutional Amendment I, rights when petitioner failed to allow respondent to participate in a political debate broadcast.

DISCUSSION

  • On review, the Supreme Court held that the debate was a nonpublic forum, from which petitioner could exclude respondent in the reasonable, viewpoint-neutral exercise of its journalistic discretion. 
  • Additionally, respondent was excluded from the political debate not in an attempt to manipulate the political process, but because he had generated no appreciable public interest. 
  • Thus, the Court reversed the grant of summary judgment in favor of respondent because exclusion from a nonpublic forum based on respondent's status rather than his views was permissible.
CONCLUSION
Judgment for the respondent was reversed because although the political debate was subject to constitutional constraints, petitioner's decision to exclude the respondent was a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral exercise of journalistic discretion.

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