370To get an initiative proposal on the ballot, the proponents must gather a specified number of signatures of registered voters,371and they often pay persons to circulate the petitions and obtain signatures. State efforts to prohibit or restrict the use of paid circulators have been held to violate the First Amendment.3723. Governmental Broadcast, Cable, and Internet Regulation Governmental regulation of broadcasting in the United States has traditionally taken place in connection with the allocation of radio and television frequencies by the Federal Communications Commission. The Supreme Court has held that such regulation can proceed on [the assumption] of [“]public ownership of the airwaves,[”] and that the Federal Communications Commission can require that broadcasters operate “in the public interest.” This being so, the Court has upheld against First Amendment challenge the Federal Communication Commission’s now-repealed “fairness doctrine,” which required that broadcasters provide for a balanced presentation of viewpoints, allocate a reasonable percentage of broadcast time for the discussion of public issues, and in certain circumstances allow other persons to have access to broadcasting facilities in order to respond to positions taken by the broadcasters.373The Court has also held that Congress 370.See State-by-State List of Initiative and Referendum Provisions, INITIATIVE &REFERENDUM INST.,(last visited Mar. 30, 2013). 371.See id.372. SeeMeyer v. Grant, 486 U.S. 414, 415-16 (1988) (invalidating a Colorado law making it a felony to compensate petition circulators); Buckley v. Am. Law Found., 525 U.S. 182, 186-87 (1999) (invalidating requirements that ballot initiative circulators be registered voters, “that they wear an identification badge bearing the circulator’s name,” and that initiative proponents “report the names and addresses of all paid circulators and the amount paid to each circulator”). 373. Red Lion Broad. Co. v. FCC, 395 U.S. 367, 391-96 (1969). “The government’s imposition of such a requirement on newspapers would be unconstitutional because of the chilling effect it could have on the newspapers’ discussion of public issues.” Sedler,supranote 34, at 308 n.639 (citing Miami Herald Publ’g Co. v. Tornillo, 418 U.S. 241 (1969)). While the imposition of this requirement could have the same chilling effect on the discussion of public issues by broadcasters, the Court has found that this possible chilling effect was justified because of the “public interest” considerations that followed
2013] THE “LAW OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT” REVISITED1075may constitutionally provide that candidates for federal office have a legally enforceable right to purchase a reasonable amount of broadcast time.374Finally, the Federal Communications Commission may impose certain limited restrictions on programming that might be [objectionable] to children during the time of the day when children are likely to be viewing or listening.