The Supreme Court of the United States recently stunned the cable television industry with its decision in Capital Cities Cable, Inc. v. Crisp. The immediate result of the ruling was to preempt a state statute prohibiting the advertisement of certain alcoholic beverages; however, the decision's potential impact could be much broader. The Court unanimously held cable television regulation to be the "exclusive domain" of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and an "area that the Commission has explicitly pre-empted." Thus, the decision extends broad regulatory authority to the FCC at the expense of local control.
Steven J. Keeler,
Cable Television Update-Capital Cities Cable, Inc. v. Crisp: Federalism and Frustration of Powers,
U. Rich. L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/lawreview/vol19/iss1/10