Other Free Encyclopedias » Law Library - American Law and Legal Information » Notable Trials and Court Cases - 1995 to Present

Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes - Significance, The Events, Editorial Discretion, Or Government Censorship?, The Importance Of Public And Nonpublic Forums

court political petitioner washington


Arkansas Educational Television Commission


Ralph P. Forbes

Petitioner's Claim

Arkansas Educational Television Commission excluded Ralph P. Forbes from participating in their television debate between major political party candidates as an exercise of editorial judgment because Forbes's status as an independent political candidate made him politically unviable and, therefore, not newsworthy.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

Richard D. Marks

Chief Lawyer for Respondent

Kelly J. Shackleford

Justices for the Court

Stephen Breyer, Anthony M. Kennedy (writing for the Court), Sandra Day O'Connor, William H. Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas

Justices Dissenting

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, David H. Souter, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

18 May 1998


Arkansas Educational Television Commission's (AETC) exclusion of Forbes from the debate was a reasonable, viewpoint-neutral exercise of journalistic discretion consistent with the First Amendment.

Related Cases

  • Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc. v. Democratic National Committee, 412 U.S. 94 (1973).
  • FCC v. League of Women Voters of California, 468 U.S. 364 (1984).
  • Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. v. FCC, 512 U.S. 622 (1994).

Further Readings

  • Biskupic, Joan. "High Court Agrees to Review Ruling on Political Debates," Washington Post, March 18, 1997, p. 8.
  • Biskupic, Joan. "Justices Question Barring Fringe Candidates From Debates on Public TV," Washington Post, October 8, 1997, p. 15.
  • Fleming, Heather. "Court Forces Open TV Congressional Debate." Broadcasting & Cable, Sep. 23, 1996, p. 18.
Baehr v. Miike - Same Sex Marriages, The Burden Of Proof Is On The State, Both Sides Marshal Their Experts [next] [back] Arizona v. Evans - Significance, Tempting Arrest, The Exclusionary Rule, Reagan-era Reversal, The Decision, A Growing Movement To Rescind The Exclusionary Rule

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or