WASHINGTON — A divided Philadelphia appellate court Monday rejected a request from the Federal Communications Commission and several major television networks to bow out of the legal wrangling over the agency's proposed media ownership reforms.
In a 2-1 ruling, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals decided it would hear about a dozen legal challenges aimed at overturning the new rules.
The FCC and major TV networks CBS, NBC and Fox asked the court to transfer the cases to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which they said was better suited because it had previously struck down some of the rules and ordered others to be reviewed. Legal experts also predicted that the D.C. court would be more supportive of FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell, who advocated the new rules.
"This court is no less qualified than any other court of appeals to determine whether the FCC has appropriately considered the public interest in its decision-making," the 3rd Circuit panel ruled Monday.