In 1992 a little-known part of the 1992 Cable-Television Act was directed against small business and minorities who sought to access media and technology through the cable television industry, using public right of ways. The hidden clause in the 1992 Cable-Television Act was that no matter how the constitutional rights of citizens were abused and denied by local governments, no one could sue such local governments for the violation of those rights and collect damages. You could steal the constitutional right of citizens without penalty. A law without penalty is not a law but is a recommendation. The Constitution has become little more than a recommendation.
The law was promoted by Joe Biden and would effectively negate the First Amendment rights of all citizens who had not been privileged by receiving licenses from their political friends. Joe Biden was a United States Senator and a major supporter of this legislation.
This action protected the criminal behavior of corrupt local governments throughout the nation but the largest beneficiary was the City of Los Angeles. Corruption is just regular business at L.A. City Hall. The license covering 95% of Black citizens in Los Angeles was approximately 180,000 homes, which is larger than most cities in the U.S.
This law was passed despite the fact that the United States Supreme Court had said in 1986 that local governments which refused to allow more than one cable television license in the city, using public right of ways, were in violation of the Constitution the United States. This ruling was made on behalf of a Black owned company. The Congress, controlled by the Democratic Party, did nothing to see that the ruling of the United States Supreme Court was carried out to protect the citizens that elected them. The effect of this legislation was that no one would dare to sue for their rights if they could not receive damages for having had their rights denied by the criminal behavior of local politicians.
The US Supreme Court in 1986 had put all local governments and cities on notice, in the case City of Los Angeles vs Preferred Communications, that their actions violated the U.S. Constitution. A substantial portion of local government refusal to allow for the construction of competitive cable television systems was based upon widespread corruption. This corruption has been documented in many cities including New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. It is not surprising that these are all Democratic strongholds.
The largest legal action that this law affected was that ruled on by the U.S. Supreme Court. Preferred Communications was a minority-owned company which had been seeking to provide cable television service in the minority area of the city Los Angeles for more than 10 years. Preferred had been in court more than 10 years at a cost of millions of dollars. The area that was covered by Preferred Communications would have been approximately 500,000 people of mostly minority representation.
If you cannot receive damages for the damage that has been done to you by corrupt local governments then in fact you can never be made whole and your rights are fundamentally worthless. This legislation was passed 6 years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Corruption by local governments all across the United States would effectively eliminate the constitutional rights of minority citizens, who were the main ones trying to get access to media in many major cities. Now minorities are forced to beg giant media companies for diversity in programming.
This legislation was so contrary to the basic rule of law and the Constitution that President Bush vetoed the law. The Democratic Party controlled Congress and overrode the President’s veto and made monopolies for their friends without any hint of consideration for potential competition within a multibillion-dollar industry. You can look at the campaign contributions given by the cable television industry and see how much money politicians, of limited integrity, accrued by limiting the rights of the citizens of the United States.
If your rights were violated only in the cable television industry by local corrupt governments you could not collect damages from those governments despite the fact that their criminal behavior was knowingly in violation of the Constitution. This made major constitutional rights virtually worthless.
How many other rights have they hidden in other legislation that made other constitutional rights become worthless also. This is how corrupt politicians work. Thank you, Joe Biden.