1 minute read

Columbia Broadcasting System v. The Democratic National Committee

Significance, Is Ad Space/time Public?


Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the Business Executives' Move for Vietnam Peace (BEM)


Columbia Broadcasting System, Inc.

Petitioner's Claim

That CBS's refusal to sell advertising time to the plaintiffs for expressing controversial views violated First Amendment rights.

Chief Lawyer for Petitioner

J. Roger Wollenberg

Chief Lawyer of Respondent

Thomas R. Asher

Justices for the Court

Harry A. Blackmun, Warren E. Burger (writing for the Court), William O. Douglas, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist, Potter Stewart, Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

29 May 1973


The general policy of refusing to sell any editorial advertising time did not violate the First Amendment or the Federal Communications Act of 1934.

Related Cases

  • Red Lion Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367 (1969).
  • Miami Herald Publishing Company v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1974).



Further Readings

  • Franklin, Marc A. and David A. Anderson. Cases and Materials on Mass Media Law. The Foundation Press, Inc. 1990.
  • Lieberman, Jethro K. The Evolving Constitution. Random House: 1992.
  • Seidman, Louis M., Gerald R. Stone, Cass R. Sunstein, and Mark V. Tushnet. Constitutional Law. Little, Brown and Company: 1986.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1973 to 1980