Esoteric Dissertations from a One-Track Mind

January 16, 2008

NBC Wins Appeal, Excludes Kucinich from Debate

Filed under: media, politics — Tags: , , — codesmithy @ 8:17 am

If you voted for “find a more sympathetic judge and stop the threat of injunction” in yesterday’s post, then you were right. NBC appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court and they found in NBC’s favor.

Glenn Greenwald is a former constitutional lawyer and highlights some of the legal issues involved in the case.

The two main legal claims for the injunction were

  1. In excluding Kucinich, MSNBC was violating Section 315 of the Communications Act which requires broadcasters “to operate in the public interest and to afford reasonable opportunity for the discussion of conflicting views of public importance.”
  2. The invitation represented a contract between the two parties, thus MSNBC was in breach of contract when it rescinded the invitation

The Nevada Supreme Courts ruling can be found here. I’m not a lawyer, but from reading the ruling the Nevada Supreme Court stated that the district court exceeded its jurisdiction in applying section 315 of the Communications Act. In the court’s opinion, that power rests with the FCC and thus ruled in NBC’s favor.

For the second claim, the Nevada Supreme Court “conclude[d] that the district court manifestly abused its discretion in determining that a contract existed between the parties.” An enforceable contract requires an offer, and acceptance, meeting of the minds and consideration. According to the Nevada Supreme Court, consideration was lacking.

Here is a definition of legal consideration:

1) payment or money. 2) a vital element in the law of contracts, consideration is a benefit which must be bargained for between the parties, and is the essential reason for a party entering into a contract. Consideration must be of value (at least to the parties), and is exchanged for the performance or promise of performance by the other party (such performance itself is consideration). In a contract, one consideration (thing given) is exchanged for another consideration.


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