The Playboy Channel won a major Supreme Court victory May 22 with the high court ruling Congress went too far in trying to restrict inadequately scrambled adult cable TV channels, by telling cable companies to limit access to 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. In a decision that could make it harder to limit advertising of other products too, the court in a 5-4 majority said the government in regulating content hadn't shown its curb was narrowly tailored. "Even where speech is indecent and enters the home, the objective of shielding children does not suffice to support a blanket ban," wrote Justice Anthony M. Kennedy. First Amendment lawyers said the decision suggests that there's no exception on First Amendment law for disfavored speech and could make it more difficult to curb alcohol and tobacco ads.
Copyright May 2000, Crain Communications Inc.