From: Joan Kennedy Taylor <>

To: "Advis. Com. Secretariat" <>

Date: 2/28/98 10:42pm

Subject: Public Comment

The Association of Libertarian Feminists is very concerned at the Gore

Commission's consideration of a proposal to require TV stations to five

free air time to political candidates.

Freedom of speech and of the press includes the right not to be forced to

express or to make public any opinion that one does not wish to circulate.

The fact that broadcasters operate under a governmental license requirement

because of supposed scarcity does not allow the government to disregard the

First Amendment mandate against forced speech, which was eloquently voiced

by Justice Jackson during World War II in West Virginia Board of Education

v. Barnette.

The suggestion brought up in a commission meeting that such a mandate would

be acceptable if it were extended to other media would if anything make

matters worse. Does the commission imagine that "equal tyranny" is some

sort of equivalent to "equal protection"? Across-the-board forced speech

is no substitute for the recognition the commission should show for the

importance of the First Amendment -- perhaps especially when it comes to


Joan Kennedy Taylor

National Coordinator, Association of Libertarian Feminists