Public TV and radio stations could broadcast political ads under a new federal court ruling.
A divided U.S. appeals court struck down a federal ban on political advertising on public TV and radio stations, a decision that could open the public airwaves to a heavy dose of campaign ads leading up to the November elections.
By a 2-1 vote, a panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco said the Federal Communications Commission violated the First Amendment's free speech clause by blocking public broadcasters from running political and public issue ads.
The court said the ban was over broad and that lifting it would not threaten to undermine the educational nature of public broadcast stations. It upheld a ban on ads for goods and services on behalf of for-profit companies.