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Diversity rules struck down

FCC looking to rewrite policy to make job info more accessible

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday let stand a lower-court ruling striking down as unconstitutional federal rules designed to promote employment diversity in the broadcast industry.

A year ago, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia found that the Federal Communications Commission’s rules put official government pressure on broadcasters and cable operators to recruit minority candidates in a way that was not narrowly tailored to support a compelling government interest. The high court declined, without comment or dissent, to hear an appeal brought by a number of groups, including the National Organization for Women and People for the American Way.

The FCC, at its December open meeting, started the process of rewriting its policy by proposing rules that would require broadcasters and cable companies to send job vacancy information to all recruitment organizations that request it. Additionally, the agency proposed that companies participate in certain outreach programs such as job fairs and internship programs, and that they interact with education and community groups and file annual employment reports.

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