Media Ownership Limits Stand; High Court Declines to Hear Appeal


The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday let stand an appeals court ruling that limits the number of TV and radio stations and newspapers a media company can own in a single market, reports the Washington Post. The court declined to enter the debate over whether the explosion in telecommunications, the Internet and cable television warrants an overhaul of ownership rules crafted in an era when news was dominated by daily newspapers and broadcast television and radio. The high court declined to hear an appeal of a lower court’s ruling that the Federal Communications Commission had not adequately justified a set of rules that it issued in June 2003 that relaxed several of the ownership restrictions.

In another case, the Supreme Court refused to be drawn into a dispute over President Bush’s power to detain terrorism suspects who are U.S. citizens and deny them traditional legal rights. It would have been unusual for the court to take the case of “dirty bomb” suspect Jose Padilla now, because a federal appeals court has not yet ruled on the issue. Arguments are scheduled for July 19 at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit in Richmond. At issue was whether U.S. citizens arrested on American soil can be designated “enemy combatants” and held without trial. Padilla has been in custody since 2002, when he was arrested in Chicago after returning from Pakistan.


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