Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Another Test of Checks & Balances

As expected, the FCC relaxed media ownership rules, and issued 42 permanent waivers allowing media companies to own newspapers, radio or TV stations in the twenty largest markets.

Congress - and not just the Democrats - is challenging the move, and it is likely to end up in Federal Court, as did the last attempt to relax ownership rules, in 2003.

Add Media Ownership to the long list of issues that are testing the US Constitution (First Amendment, 1789-1791) and the American system of checks and balances between the executive, legislative and judiciary branches of our government.

Right up there with Free Speech Zones (First Amendment), internal surveillance (Fourth Amendment), the right to a speedy trial (Sixth Amendment), international treaties (Article VI, Clause 2), declarations of war (Article 1, Section 8, Clause 11), illegal torture (Third Geneva Convention, 1949, Article 17), and habeas corpus (The Magna Carta, 1215, clauses 36, 38, 39, and 40). I'm sure I'm leaving something out...

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