FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kirsten Voinis
(512) 922-7141 or [email protected]
An almost seven-year legal battle over the state’s law specifying how video franchises are issued came to an end Monday with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling and a final ruling issued by U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel agreeing with the Texas Cable Association (TCA) that the state law is unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
TCA on Sept. 8, 2005 filed a federal lawsuit against the State of Texas challenging Senate Bill 5, which had been signed into law one day earlier after passage during the second special session of the 79th Legislature.
Yeakel issued his final judgment pursuant to the U.S. Fifth Circuit of Appeals’ ruling on Jan. 13. The State of Texas had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review this ruling, which the Court declined Monday.
The following statement can be attributed to Kirsten Voinis, TCA spokesperson:
“The Texas Cable Association is extremely pleased that this long legal battle is over, and that federal courts on both the district and the appellate levels vindicated our argument that the 2005 statute is unconstitutional because of its disparate treatment of video providers in Texas. SB 5 was found to violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because, as the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals found, it plainly discriminates against a small and identifiable number of cable providers.
“Now the path has been cleared for all video providers in Texas– whether incumbent providers or new entrants into the marketplace – to operate on a more level playing field, as they should have been all along.
“More importantly, this critically important case law affirms cable companies’ First Amendment rights and will be cited in the future as legal precedent.”
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TCA (www.txcable.com) has been the primary trade organization for cable operators in Texas since 1960. Members include Allegiance Communications, Cable One, Charter Communications, Comcast, CommuniComm, Suddenlink Communications and Time Warner Cable. Follow TCA’s activities on Facebook (www.facebook.com/texascable) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/texascable).