A somewhat skimpy story notes the ruling against SFLR‘s challenge came down on March 14. Alan Korn has graciously provided a copy. It’s grim reading: first and fourth amendment arguments are bounced, and District Court Judge Susan Ilston avoids the station’s direct challenge to FCC rules with the jurisdictional wiggle (“that issue belongs in D.C., not with me”).
The station’s attorney, Mark Vermeulen, hopes for better things at the Ninth Circuit: “Courts of Appeals have more leverage in establishing new precedents.” Yet the two most successful microbroadcast cases ever litigated, involving Free Radio Berkeley and Radio Free Brattleboro, scored their victories at the district court level.
FRB enjoyed nearly four years of government-sanctioned license-free microbroadcasting before losing (on appeal to the same Ninth Circuit where Liberation Radio is heading). rfb celebrated the one-year anniversary of its district court victory this month (which the FCC has yet to appeal) and will celebrate its seventh year on the air in July.