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Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes (1998)  [Findlaw]

Secondary Link Arkansas Educational Television Commission v. Forbes  [Legal Information Institute]
Argument Date 10/08/1997
Decided 05/18/1998
Supreme Court Vote 6-3
Supreme Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied; held that public broadcasters could selectively exclude participants from their sponsored debates, so long as these were not designed as "public forums."
IssueWhether a public television station sponsoring a candidates debate may exclude a legally qualified candidate who the station does not believe can win the election.
Case Summary & Additional Resources
Majority Opinion Kennedy, J. (joined by Rehnquist, C.J. and O'Connor, Scalia, Thomas, and Breyer, JJ.)
Dissenting Opinion Stevens, J. (joined by Souter and Ginsburg, JJ.)
Lower Court 8th Circuit
Lower Court Ruling First Amendment claim denied
Oral Arguments Oral Arguments  [Oyez]
For Petitioner
Richard D. Marks

For Respondent
Kelly J. Shackelford

For United States
Lawrence G. Wallace, Deputy Solicitor General

Tony Mauro Analysis
Attorneys fight for right to provide unrestricted advice to clients

Broadcasters win, candidates lose First Amendment struggle

Opinion - Lower Court
Forbes v. Arkansas Educational Television Commission, 93 F.3d 497
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