Hastings Law Journal


Robert Schwartz


Cable television is an important communications medium that reaches into millions of households. In a 1979 case, FCC P. Midwest Video Corp., the Supreme Court struck down rules that had required limited public access to cable television. This Comment examines the impact of that decision on the future of public access to cable television. After discussing the genesis and scope of the access rules and the structure of the cable television industry, which led to federal regulation, the Comment analyzes the Midwest Video decision. The Comment concludes that the first amendment prescribes an affirmative right of access to the mass media, that cable television is the medium currently best suited for such access, and that limited federal regulation on the subject is both desirable and constitutional.

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