In the case of the Federal Communications Commission vs. Fox Television Stations Inc., I will discuss the background and the role of the FCC in the United States, the history of Fox Television Stations Inc. and analyze the arguments of both sides. Based on those arguments I will answer the question did the Supreme Court get it right on the decision of this case. “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was created when Congress passed the Communications Act in 1934 which abolished the Federal Radio Commission and transferred jurisdiction of radio licensing to the Federal Communications Commission. This also included the telecommunications jurisdiction which was previously handled by the Interstate Commerce Commission. The Communications Act focused on telecommunications by using concepts borrowed from the railroad legislation and contained provisions very similar to the Radio Act of 1927” (www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Communications_Commission). Today the FCC is an independent agency inside the United States government. “It is responsible for regulating interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable” (www.fcc.gov). The agency’s jurisdiction covers all fifty states and other areas belonging to the United States. “Their mission is to be an agent of positive change, strive for continuous improvement in management and in program operations” (www.fcc.gov).
“The organization is directed by five Commissioners appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate for a five year term” (www.fcc.gov). The President designates one of the Commissioners to serve as the Chairperson. Only three Commissioners may be members of the same political party and none can have a financial interest and/or gain in any business related to the FCC. As the chief executive officer of the Commission, the Chairperson delegates management and administrative responsibilities to the Managing Director. The Commissioners supervise all FCC activities, delegates responsibilities to the staff units and bureaus. The bureaus’ responsibility is to process applications for licenses, analyzing complaints, conduct investigations, develop and implement regulatory programs and take part in hearings” (www.fcc.gov). There are seven operating bureaus in the agency. “The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau educates and informs consumers about telecommunication goods and services and engages their input to help guide the work of the agency. The Enforcement Bureau enforces the Communications Act, as well as the agency’s rules, orders and authorizations. The International Bureau represents the FCC in satellite and international matters. The Media Bureau regulates AM, FM radio and television broadcast stations, as well as cable television and satellite services. The Wireless Telecommunication Bureau oversees cellular, PCS phones, pagers and two-way radios. This bureau also regulates the use of radio spectrum to fulfill the communication needs of businesses, aircrafts, ship operators and individuals. The Public Safety & Homeland Security Bureau addresses public safety, homeland and national security, emergency management, preparedness, disaster management and other related issues. The Wireline Competition Bureau is responsible for rules and policies concerning telephone companies who provide interstate and under certain circumstances intrastate telecommunication services to the public through the use of wire-based transmission facilities through corded and cordless telephones” (www.fcc.gov). There are also ten offices and they provide administrative and support services to the bureau. The Office of Administrative Law Judges presides over hearings and issues initial decisions. “The Office of Communications Business Opportunities provides advice on issues and policies concerning opportunities for ownership by small, minority and women-owned communication businesses. The Office of Engineering and...
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