Equal Protection and Affirmative Action in Broadcast Licensing: Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission
As the Supreme Court's 1989 Term reached its conclusion, observers expected the Court to follow "City of Richmond v. J.A. Croson Co." and invalidate two Federal Communications Commission (FCC) minority preference policies aimed at promoting broadcast diversity. Instead, in one of the major surprises of the Term, the Court upheld both FCC racial preference programs in Metro Broadcasting, Inc. v. Federal Communications Commission. Finding no equal protection violation, the Court ruled that "benign" race-conscious programs designed by Congress to "serve important governmental objectives" are constitutional if they are "substantially related to [the] achievement of those objectives."