Communication Law Section

This section is a resource for lawyers interested in legal issues faced by users, providers and regulators of print, telecommunications and broadcast and web-based services, facilities and equipment. Learn more, contact Christy Gibson at

Immediate Past Chair
Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis...
PO Box 198966
Nashville, TN 37219
Aaron & Sanders PLLC
605 Berry Road, Suite A
Nashville, TN 37204
Staff Coordinator
Tennessee Bar Association
221 4th Avenue N. Suite 400
Nashville, TN 37219

SCOTUS Agrees to Review Public Access First Amendment Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take on the case of whether the operator of a public-access TV channel is a state actor who can be sued by two producers for an alleged First Amendment violation, The ABA Journal reports. The case raises the broader question of whether private property can be a public forum. The producers argue that the Manhattan Neighborhood Network was a public forum, and their First Amendment rights were violated when it stopped airing their video. The network is owned by a private nonprofit, who claims the video included harassing and threatening language. 
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Park Service Proposes New Rules for Protests

Public comments are being sought on a proposal from the National Park Service that would overhaul rules for protests in front of the White House and at other iconic locations in Washington, D.C. The Hill reports that the proposal would close much of the sidewalk north of the White House to protests, limit the ability for groups to have spontaneous protests without permits in that area and on the National Mall, and would open the door to potentially charging some demonstrating groups fees. The NPS cites its mandate to protect land, saying that it wants to “provide greater clarity to the public about how and where demonstrations and special events may be conducted." Opponents say it is an attempt to limit free speech and that those spaces need to remain welcoming for the First-Amendment-guaranteed right to protest.

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