The Law School Authority

Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, Inc. v. U.S. Case Brief

Summary of Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, Inc. v. U.S., 527 U.S. 173 (1999)

Facts: Pets, are association of radio/TV broadcasters who operate New Orleans stations.  B/c of the threat of sanctions they do not advertise private gaming legally available in LA. FCC found that some of the broadcast signals leak into neighboring states, TX and AR where gaming is illegal.

Issue(s): Whether federal statute can be used to private casino gambling ads that are broadcast over radio and television located in state that permits gambling?

Holding: No.   The restriction on speech does not directly and materially advance the Govt Int, nor is it not more extensive than necessary.

Procedure: Pet sought Declar and Injunct; D Ct ruled in favor of Govt Summary; Ct of App Affirmed. U.S.S.Ct initially Remanded b/c of 44 Liquor.  On Remand Ct App adhered to prior decision.  U.S.S.Ct Reversed.

Rule(s): 1st

Rationale: There is no need to break new ground and overrule Central.

1) All agree potential messages constitute Comm Speech.  2) Reducing the Social Costs of gaming; and helping States restrict or ban gambling w/i their borders are Subst’l Interests.

3) This restriction on speech cannot advance the GI b/c Congress encourages tribal casino gambling.  Also, there is no est. link btwn gambling with broadcast advertising.

Operation of the statute is riddled with so many exemptions that it is inconsistent to a fatal fault.  Broadcaster cannot carry ads about private gaming, regardless of station location, but ads for tribal gaming under state compacts are not subject to broadcast ban.

FCC application of statute remains at odds with GI.

Govt admits the tribal casinos offer same type of gambling as private casinos.

4) There are practical nonspeech-related forms of regulation such as prohibition or strict enforcement of gaming that would more directly alleviate the social costs.

The power to prohibit or regulate specific conduct does not include the power to prohibit or regulate speech related to that conduct.

Pl’s A: The test of Central should be eliminated and a new test used–straightforward and stringent test assessing the validity of Govt restriction of Comm Speech.

Df’s A: Alleviating the social costs is accomplished by limiting the demand, and w/o the restrictions gambling demand increases from advertising.  Indian Casinos are too remote in geographical location to require attention.



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