Community Television of Southern California v. Gottfried

PETITIONER: Community Television of Southern California
RESPONDENT: Gottfried
LOCATION: Kansas State Legislature

DOCKET NO.: 81-298
DECIDED BY: Burger Court (1981-1986)
LOWER COURT: United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

CITATION: 459 US 498 (1983)
ARGUED: Oct 12, 1982
DECIDED: Feb 22, 1983

ADVOCATES:
Samuel A. Alito, Jr. - on behalf of petitioner in no. 81-799 -- resumed
Charles M. Firestone - on behalf of Respondents in both cases
Edgar F. Czarra, Jr. - on behalf of Petitioner in 81-298

Facts of the case

Question

Media for Community Television of Southern California v. Gottfried

Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - October 12, 1982 in Community Television of Southern California v. Gottfried

Audio Transcription for Opinion Announcement - February 22, 1983 in Community Television of Southern California v. Gottfried

Warren E. Burger:

Justice Stevens has the announcement of judgments and opinion in two cases.

John Paul Stevens:

The first -- the first of the two cases I have to announced, Community Television of Southern California against Gottfried, arises out of a license renewal proceeding before the Federal Communications Commission.

Respondent, a person with impaired hearing, objected to the renewal of petitioner's license to operate a public television station and also objected to the renewal of seven commercial television station licenses on the ground that they had not provided adequate programming for the very substantial segment of the public that suffers from impaired hearing.

The Commission ultimately overruled respondent's objections and renewed the licenses of all eight stations.

The Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia by a divided vote, held that Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 requires that a more strict standard be applied to the renewal of a public television station and to a commercial station and remanded the case for further proceedings before the Commission.

We granted certiorari and for reason stated in an opinion filed with the clerk, we have concluded that the public interest factors that justify a renewal of the seven commercial licenses also should lead to the same result for the public television station.

Accordingly, the judgment of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit is reversed.

Justice Marshall has filed a dissenting opinion.