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Sable Communications of California v. FCC (docket #: 88-515) (1989)  [Findlaw]

Argument Date 04/19/1989
Decided 6/23/1989
Supreme Court Vote 5-4-0
Note Decided together with FCC v. Sable Communications of California (No. 88-525)
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim affirmed
IssueWhether a California law banning indecent as well as obscene interstate commercial telephone messages violated the First Amendment's free speech guarantee
Majority Opinion White, J.
Concurring Opinion Scalia, J., Brennan, J. (concurring in part and dissenting in part, joined by Marshall, J., & Stevens, J.)
Lower Court Pennsylvania Superior Court
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim upheld
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Laurence H. Tribe

For Respondent
Richard G. Taranto

For Amicus
Benjamin W. Bull for Citizens for Decency Through Law, Inc.

Bruce J. Ennis for Jane Roe

Daniel M. Waggoner, Stuart R. Dunwoody, and Harold E. Akselrad for Home Box Office, Inc.

Earl Nicholas Selby and William Bennett Turner for the Association of Interactive Information Providers

John J. Adams for Minority Members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the United States House of Representatives

Leonard Graff for the San Francisco AIDS Foundation

Mark E. Chopko for the United States Catholic Conference

Paul J. McGeady for Morality in Media, Inc.

Peggy M. Coleman for the American Family Association, Inc.

Robert T. Perry for John W. Olivo, Jr.

Timothy B. Dyk et al. for Action for Children's Television et al.

William J. Byrnes for the Pacifica Foundation

Ruling - Lower Court
692 F. Supp. 1208
"Many Demanding Curb on Phone Pornography," The New York Times, Feb. 19, 1984, p. 80
Davis, Bob, "Proposed Curbs on Dial-a-Porn Are Seen Reducing Access to All Dial-Up Services," The Wall Street Journal, March 30, 1988, p. 21
Diamond, S.J., "Do We Have to Live With Porn Purveyed By Phone?" The Los Angeles Times, April 22, 1984, Sect. D, p. 5
Greenhouse, Linda, "Court to Rule on 'Dial-a-Porn' Law," The New York Times, Jan. 10, 1989, Sect. B, p. 5
Greenhouse, Linda, "Justices Uphold Businesses' Right to Sell Phone Sex," The New York Times, June 24, 1989, p. 1
Kamen, Al, "'Indecent' Speech Ban Overturned," The Washington Post, June 24, 1989, Sect. A, p. 1
Landler, Mark, "Meese Targets Child Porn, Cable Shows," The Los Angeles Times, Oct. 23, 1986, p. 14
Warmiel, Stephen, "Supreme Court Will Decide if Congress Can Ban Dial-a-Porn Phone Messages," The Wall Street Journal, Jan. 10, 1989, Sect. B, p. 8
Gartner, Michael, "Dial-a-Porn Ban is Obscene," The Wall Street Journal, April 28, 1988, p. 29
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