Byron Allen, Comcast To Square Off Today

Byron Allen’s racial discrimination case against Comcast Corp. heads to the Supreme Court today, where justices will consider Comcast’s argument that the case should hinge on two words: “but for.” Allen filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast in February 2015, arguing that the nation’s largest cable operator was discriminating against his company, Entertainment Studios, by refusing to carry its seven lifestyle cable channels. Comcast maintained the decision was made strictly on business grounds because of the lack of audience demand for Allen’s channels.

Comcast Threatened With Being ‘Broken Up’

Less than a week before Comcast and Department of Justice lawyers will face off against Byron Allen in the Supreme Court in the Entertainment Studios boss’ $20 billion discrimination lawsuit against the NBCUniverisal owner, Rep. Bobby Rush now wants the telecommunications giant brought down to size.

Allen v. Comcast Could Reshape Bias Suits

While TV mogul Byron Allen alleges racism in refusing to license his niche channels, U.S. businesses worry that a win for him during the new Supreme Court term would increase legal costs and hurt their reputations.

Comcast & Byron Allen’s $20B SCOTUS Battle Heats Up

Days before the new session of the Supreme Court is set to begin, an ever-growing chorus of displeasure with the alliance between Comcast and Donald Trump’s Department of Justice in Byron Allen’s $20 billion battle with the NBCUniversal owner grew even louder and potentially more presidential.

Byron Allen Rips Comcast, Justice Dept.

Heading towards a $20 billion showdown with Comcast at the U.S. Supreme Court this fall in his long running racial discrimination lawsuit against the media giant, Byron Allen today tore into the Brian Roberts-run company and an 11th hour intervention by the Department of Justice. “This is historic,” the Entertainment Studios boss said of an Aug. 15 brief filed by the feds seeking to tighten the definitions of a Reconstruction Era statute in Comcast’s favor. “Donald Trump’s DOJ and Comcast are working together to destroy a civil rights statute in the U.S. Supreme Court.”

STATION ADVISORY

SCOTUS: Public Access TV Is Actually Private

The Supreme Court, in a 5-4 opinion written by Justice Kavanaugh, who was joined by the court’s four traditionally conservative justices (Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Gorsuch), preserves editorial discretion for public access channels.

FUCT Wins Free-Speech Trademark Battle

The Supreme Court struck down a section of federal law Monday that prevented businesses from registering trademarks seen as scandalous or immoral, handing a victory to California fashion brand FUCT.

Supreme Court To Hear Cable TV Bias Dispute

On Monday, the justices of the high court announced that they had accepted for review a case claiming discrimination in contracting against Comcast in alleged violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act. The $20 billion lawsuit comes from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Network, an African American owned programmer upset over the way that cable TV distributors refused to make good offers to license his channels.

Thomas Calls for Reviewing Libel Ruling

Justice Clarence Thomas on Tuesday called for the Supreme Court to reconsider New York Times v. Sullivan, the landmark 1964 ruling interpreting the First Amendment to make it hard for public officials to prevail in libel suits. He said the decision was the product of unprincipled “legal alchemy” that had no basis in the Constitution as understood by the people who drafted and ratified it.

Supreme Court Staying Out Of ‘Empire’ Lawsuit

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court is staying out of a lawsuit involving the television show “Empire.” The high court said Tuesday it won’t take a case involving the Fox show, which follows a black family navigating the ups and downs of the record industry. That means a decision in favor of “Empire” co-creators Danny […]

SCOTUS Won’t Review Olivia de Havilland’s ‘Feud’ Lawsuit

FNC To SCOTUS: Reject TVEyes Petition

Fox News doesn’t want the U.S. Supreme Court to review its copyright win against the media monitoring service TVEyes. On Wednesday, the cable news giant submitted its opposition to a cert petition and downplayed the stakes other than implying that a reversal of earlier decisions in the case would undercut the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in training journalists and gathering news.

Olivia De Havilland Takes ‘Feud’ Feud To SCOTUS

Olivia de Havilland Taking ‘Feud’ To Supreme Court

Ginsburg Hints: Five More Years At SCOTUS

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said she hopes to stay on the Supreme Court until the age of 90. “I’m now 85,” Ginsburg said on Sunday. “My senior colleague, Justice John Paul Stevens, he stepped down when he was 90, so I think I have about at least five more years.”

Nets To Preempt Prime For SCOTUS Nomination

The major networks are making room in Monday’s primetime schedule for President Donald Trump’s unveiling of his Supreme Court nominee. Trump’s decision to break the news at 9 p.m. ET on a weeknight — with three days advance notice — was clearly an effort to bring some showmanship to the announcement of his second choice of a judge to join the nine-member panel of the nation’s highest court.

Senators Seek Same-Day SCOTUS Audio

Sens. Chuck Grassley and Patrick Leahy, the chair and ranking member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, have called on the Supreme Court to release same-day audio of all oral arguments. That came in a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts pointing out that the court had released same-day audio of Donald Trump v. Hawaii, the Fourth […]

SCOTUS Weighs Major Digital Privacy Case

The U.S. Supreme Court today takes up a major test of privacy rights in the digital age as it weighs whether police must obtain warrants to get data on the past locations of criminal suspects using cellphone data from wireless providers.

SCOTUS Takes Technological Step Forward

The court is making new legal filings available online starting Monday, years behind the rest of the federal court system.

SCOTUS Rejects Samsung Appeal In Apple Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has rejected Samsung’s appeal of court rulings that it impermissibly copied features of Apple’s iPhone. The justices on Monday left in place rulings in favor of Apple involving its patents for smartphone features that include auto-correct and a slide that unlocks the device. In 2014, a jury awarded Apple […]

SCOTUS Pases On Madden Video Game Case

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pass. That’s what the Supreme Court has decided to do with a copyright dispute case stemming from a classic football video game. The court said Monday it won’t take up the case involving John Madden Football. A computer programmer behind the original 1988 hit game for the Apple II computer wanted the […]

Dish Wants SCOTUS To Review Florida TV Tax

Pointing to “protectionism,” Dish Network is asking the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a constitutional challenge to a Florida law that sets different tax rates for cable and satellite TV services. The long-running battle focuses on the state’s communications-services tax, which is 4.92% on the sale of cable services and 9.07% on the sale of satellite-TV services.

SCOTUS Lets Pro-Facebook Decision Stand

The Supreme Court won’t review a ruling that Power Ventures, a defunct aggregation service, violated a federal hacking law by scraping Facebook’s site.

SCOTUS Grants Extension In Net Neutrality

The US Supreme Court on Thursday granted a request from NCTA, AT&T, ACA and others for more time to appeal the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet order. They now have until Sept. 28 to file a petition with the court.

How 7 Dirty Words Fostered An Open Internet

Twenty years ago today the Supreme Court issued a landmark decision and unanimously overturned congressional legislation that made it unlawful to transmit “indecent” material on the Internet if that content could be viewed by minors. The justices ruled that the same censorship standards being applied to broadcast radio and television could not be applied to the Internet.

STATION ADVISORY

SCOTUS OKs Disparaging Tradmarks

The U.S. Supreme Court has invalidated the statutory bar against the federal registration of disparaging trademarks, on the ground that it violates the First Amendment and is unconstitutional. What does this mean for businesses in general, including, in particular, broadcasters and the Washington National Football League franchise?

SCOTUS: Trademarks Law Unconstitutional

The justices ruled that a 71-year-old trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes free speech rights. The ruling is expected to help the Washington Redskins in its legal fight over the team name.

SCOTUS Strikes Down NC Social Media Law

In an 8-0 decision, the court rules a North Carolina law that bans sex offenders from using social media is unconstitutional.

HISTORY LESSON

How WJXT Derailed A SCOTUS Nominee

In his book Towers in the Sand, Donn R. Colee Jr. recounts how WJXT Jacksonville, Fla., then owned by the Washington Post Co., scuttled the nomination by President Nixon of Judge G. Harrold Carswell.

NRA Makes $1 Million TV Ad Buy

Days before Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation hearings are set to begin, the National Rifle Association Freedom Action Foundation will air TV ads across the nation to highlight the importance of the Supreme Court’s makeup to gun rights.

High Court Skeptical Of Social Media Ban

With a nod to the importance of social media, the Supreme Court signaled Monday it could strike down a North Carolina law that bars convicted sex offenders from Facebook, Twitter and other popular sites.

Trump To Announce Justice Pick In Primetime

Donald Trump tweeted today that he has decided on his pick to fill the vacant ninth seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. He said he will announce his pick at 8 p.m. ET Tuesday.

Supreme Court Pressed For Same-Day Audio

Media groups are calling on the Supreme Court to provide the public with expedited audio of oral arguments in an abortion-rights case being heard next week and an immigration case that will be heard later this term. In a letter to Chief Justice John Roberts on Friday, Fix the Court and nine other media groups, including the American Society of Magazine Editors, the Society of Professional Journalists and the American Society of News Editors, called for a same-day release of the audio transcripts in both cases.

DirecTV Finds Support At Supreme Court

In a 6-3 opinion, the Supreme Court said today that DirecTV’s contracts can specifically prohibit customers from banding together to sue the company, even though California state law would allow such class action lawsuits to go forward. It’s the latest in a series of high court rulings that favor the ability of businesses to limit their litigation costs by including mandatory arbitration in standard customer contracts.

SCOTUS Turns Down Satellite Tax Claims

The nine justices turned away a joint challenge from DirecTV and Dish Network over taxes in Massachusetts and Tennessee. The companies said the state laws violate the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution, which limits states’ power to tax interstate commerce.

Supreme Court Hears DirecTV Class Action

When the Supreme Court agreed to decide whether unhappy customers of DirecTV could band together in a class action, the court’s purpose seemed clear: to reverse and rebuke a California appeals court that had allowed the class action and refused to send the case to arbitration instead. It was something of a surprise, then, that the case, argued on Tuesday, seemed to strike many of the justices as difficult. While there appeared to be a consensus that the appeals court had gone astray, there was also a sense that the Supreme Court had bitten off both less and more than it wanted to chew.

CNN Apologizes To SCOTUS For Intern’s GoPro

SCOTUS To Hear DirecTV Arbitration Case

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a class action lawsuit brought by consumers challenging DirecTV’s early termination fees. The central question is whether DirecTV can force the litigation into private arbitration, citing subscriber agreements.

Two SCOTUS Justices Now Oppose Cameras

Supreme Court Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor said Monday that allowing cameras might lead to grandstanding that could fundamentally change the nature of the high court. The statements seem to dash even faint hopes that April’s historic arguments over gay marriage might be televised.

COMMENTARY BY JEFF JOHN ROBERTS

Forget TV, Put Supreme Court On YouTube

The longtime debate over televising the Supreme Court, which pits principles of judicial decorum versus those of democratic access, has always focused on cameras as they are defined by network TV — and not the next generation of camera technology represented by YouTube and the internet. What’s the difference? For one thing, distributing Supreme Court arguments over YouTube is even more democratic than using TV. There’s no chance that one or two network will use their camera access to serve up choice soundbites that could sensationalize or misrepresent the overall arguments at stake (which is a favorite argument among camera opponents).