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2009 Law Symposium Weekend Discusses Intersection of Media and the Law

Just when does government regulation of the media go too far? Or, does it ever not go far enough? Even if a particular regulatory act is constitutional, is it prudent?

The 2009 Law Review Symposium attempted to answer these questions October 9 – 10, 2009.

Regent Law Review Editor in Chief, Benjamin Eastburn, commented on the forum topic’s timeliness. “We chose ‘Media and the Law’ because of its seemingly universal presence in political discussions and news stories over the past year,” he said. “People have heard a lot about the Fairness Doctrine, television and internet regulation, et cetera. Discussing these topics was a necessary step towards informing the legal community on the difficult questions our symposium posed.”

The weekend started on Friday with a kick-off banquet featuring special guest Judge Andrew P. Napolitano. He entertained and challenged guests with a lively look at the foundations of 1st amendment freedoms.

Judge Napolitano, former New Jersey Superior Court Judge, serves as FOX News’ senior judicial analyst. He joined the network in 1998, has hosted television and talk radio shows, and is currently the host of FOX’s Freedom Watch.

The discussion continued with the Distinguished Symposium Panel on Media and the Law on Saturday morning. Congressman Trent Franks (AZ-2), a high-profile sponsor of numerous bills designed to protect the family, including the "Child Obscenity and Pornography Bill,” moderated the panel of speakers.

Asst. Prof Marvin Ammori of the University of Nebraska College of Law and General Counsel of Free Press; Asst. Prof. Adam Candeub of Michigan State University College of Law; Prof. Christine A. Corcos of the Louisiana State University Law Center; Prof. Patrick M. Gary of the University of South Dakota School of Law; and Prof. Lili Levi of the University of Miami School of Law engaged in an interesting dialogue about government regulation of mass media and the internet.

While guests represented the entire gamut of viewpoints on media and law issues, they often demonstrated consensus on questions such as whether Congress should protect children from indecent material on the television and internet. The debate, however, sparked around the scope of that and other regulations.

So, does government go too far in regulating media? Or not far enough? Watch for the symposium edition of the Regent Law Review in Spring 2010 to read the distinguished panelists’ responses. Visit the Regent Law Review site to pre-order your subscription today.

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