Chapter 1 - Chapter 1 Public Communication and the Law...

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Chapter 1 Public Communication and the Law Miller, Judith Jailed for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating the leaking of a CIA agents name Court ruled that reporters must answer questions posed during legitimate law enforcement investigations The Sources of Law Law: System of rules that govern society Sources of law Constitutions Statues Administrative rules and regulations Executive actions Common Law Law of Equity Constitutional Law: limits the powers of the government Bill of Rights: first ten amendments to the US Constitution , protects the rights and liberties of citizens against infringement by government. First amendment: prohibition against laws abridging freedom of speech and the press Supreme court has the last word on the meaning of the federal constitution Only the Supreme Court can resolve issues between federal and state constitutions Amendments can be proposed only by 2/3 of the members of both houses of Congress or by a convention called by 2/3 of state legislatures Amendments must be ratified by ¾ of the state legislatures or by state constitutional conventions in ¾ of the states. Statutory law: the law made by statutes passed by legislative bodies Sets forth rules that govern social behavior Criminal law Suggestions are made by anyone through letters, personal contacts and hearings Adoption of statues does not conclude the lawmaking process, executive branch interprets through administrative rules and judges add meaning U.S, Supreme Court and Copyright Act, 1984 Allowed homeowners to tape television programs on VCR Court and Freedom of Information Act Allow the FBI to withhold from the public a compilation of an individuals criminal records stored in a comp database ”Unwarranted invasion of privacy” Explains how statutes apply in specific cases
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Court and Florida, 1974 Declared a statute unconstitutional that required newspapers to print replies to published attacks on political candidates. Court and Vermont, 2006 Stuck down a law limiting both the amounts candidates for state office could spend on their campaigns and the amounts political parties could contribute to those campaigns Preempt: the doctrine that allows the federal government to preclude local or state governments from regulating a specific activity Article VI of Constitution/ “Supremacy Clause”: state law cannot supersede federal law Court and Oklahoma, 1984 Nullified a statute banning the advertising of wine on cable television because it conflicted with federal law prohibiting the editing of national and regional television programming carried by cable systems Administrative Law: rules and decisions of administrative agencies Federal Communications Commission: regulates broadcast, cable, satellite, and telephone industries Children’s television, political, and indecency
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