Unlicensed San Francisco Liberation Radio, which was shut down by the FCC in October, 2003, will be challenging the Commission face-to-face in front of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals this Wednesday, Valentine’s Day. This is the same court that heard the famous Free Radio Berkeley case that ended nearly nine years ago.
In the FRB case the court initially granted an injunction preventing the FCC from shutting down the station while the trial proceeded. In the end, FRB was shut down on a technicality, with the court ruling that it couldn’t challenge the FCC’s licensing standards unless it had actually applied for license and been denied. Most micropower advocates saw this decision as a cop-out by the court, which was afraid to decide the case against the Commission on First Amendment grounds.
SFLR first met the FCC in court in 2004, and now continues its challenge in front of the 9th Circuit, arguing,
that the federal government violated the station’s and its listeners’ First Amendment rights when it obtained the warrant for the raid and the seizure of the equipment through a back-door, ex parte procedure. In civil seizure cases (as opposed to criminal cases), fair notice and a hearing before a judge typically must take place before any raid can go forward.
The station is encouraging supporters to come out to observe these oral arguments, which are taking place February 14, 2007, 9:30 AM, Booth Auditorium at UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall, located on Bancroft Way at College Ave. / http://www.berkeley.edu/map/maps/DE67.html).
[tags]pirate radio, free radio, micropower, unlicensed, radio, sflr, san francisco, fcc[/tags]