National Religious Broadcasters plays an increasingly important role in defending and promoting communication rights in the legal arena. The fundamental liberty of Christian broadcasters to proclaim an unfettered Gospel of Jesus Christ to a troubled world is being threatened like never before. Whether before the Federal Communications Commission, or other federal agencies, or within the halls of Congress, or before the courts of this land including the U.S. Supreme Court, NRB fights for the basic rights of religious freedom, free speech and freedom of the press as they impact Christian communicators.
Some of our past legal efforts have included:
• Testifying in opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2009, which, if passed into law, would impose a substantial and crippling burden on religious organizations, both those who are non-profit groups, as well as faith-based institutions and enterprises which operate commercially. Click here (2009) and here (2012) to view our congressional testimony and here to view the a video of the hearing (2012).
• Filing an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief with the U.S. Supreme Court supporting the indecency regulations of the F.C.C. in F.C.C. v. Fox Television Stations et al. as constitutionally valid. Click here to view that brief. The Supreme Court upheld those regulations which prohibit indecent content during children’s viewing hours except in certain limited situations.
• Opposing an F.C.C. proposal that would create “localism” mandates that would control the programming content and basic operations of all broadcasters in startling ways. Click here for the NRB’s Comment filing objecting to this “localism” concept.
• Filing an amicus curiae brief with the Texas Court of Appeals, in Harvest House Publishers et al., v. The Local Church et al. In that case NRB argued a First Amendment religious freedom defense for a publishing company and its Christian authors where they had been sued by a religious group for defamation because they had been mentioned in an encyclopedia on “cults.” The Texas Court of Appeals dismissed the case, in part on First Amendment grounds, and the Texas Supreme Court affirmed. Click here for an excerpt of that brief.
• Proposing language in association with other partner legal organizations and which was passed by Congress and signed into law by the President, that seeks to help protect faith-based communicators from abusive prosecutions under proposed federal “hate crime” legislation. Click here to view our congressional testimony.
NRB’s legal efforts are headed by its Office of General Counsel. In addition, our membership includes a past F.C.C. chairman and General Counsel as well as former F.C.C staff lawyers whose private sector law firms now assist National Religious Broadcasters in significant ways. We also enjoy the cooperative expertise of legal groups who are NRB members, such as the Alliance Defending Freedom, and the American Center for Law and Justice.