NPR's Ira Glass defends Howard Stern

Garrett Wollman
Sun May 9 21:23:27 EDT 2004

<<On Sun, 09 May 2004 18:48:53 -0400, "Sid Schweiger" <> said:

> than I can, but the courts don't generally like "arbitrary."

It is not enough for a regulation to be ``arbitrary''; most
regulations are arbitrary.  (Consider, for example, regulations
promulgated under the Clean Water Act regulating the concentration of
trihalomethanes permitted in your drinking water -- there's no way to
do the science that results in a specific maximum permissible level
popping out, but the regulators have to choose *some* value.)  There
are a number of additional factors which must be weighed.

To keep this related to broadcasting, the reason the gambling
advertisement ban fell a few years ago was not that it was arbitrary,
but rather because there were so many exceptions and waivers granted
that the court concluded that the remainder could not possibly be
directed at the regulation's nominal purpose (and did not, as I
recall, reach the question of whether that purpose was in itself
permissible).  That's one way rules like this tend to fall: if the
court finds that there is insufficient connection between the
regulation's effect and its legal justification.  (The newspaper
cross-ownership ban was bound to fall for the same reason, had it
remained in effect.)


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