Charter Bias Claim Not Barred By 1st Amendment: 9th Circ.

Law360 (November 19, 2018, 8:39 PM EST) -- The Ninth Circuit on Monday said Charter Communications Inc. can't use its First Amendment freedom as a cable provider to escape a claim that it refused a carriage deal with an African-American-owned production firm due to racial bias.

The three-judge panel's published opinion affirmed that Entertainment Studios Networks Inc.'s bias claim is allowed to proceed and clarified that bias claims are not precluded under the First Amendment since they pertain to business operations, not editorial decisions.

The statute under which the bias claim was made "does not seek to regulate the content of Charter's conduct, but only the manner in which...

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