A Commission by Any Other Name

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For those who occasionally mix up the Federal Trade Commission and Federal Communications Commission in references (or headlines, not that reporters ever do, but just saying), it’s nice to know officialdom occasionally misses the mark as well.

Such was the case with the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal’s recent decision on the FCC’s pre-emption of state laws limiting municipal broadband buildouts — the court struck down the FCC move (see page 5). In the judgment order PDF circulated by one party to the case soon after the judgment was handed down, the clerk of the court cites a decision of the FCC, then orders that the “Federal Trade Commission” order be reversed. By the time the judgment made it onto the PACER electronic legal system, the FCC had regained its rightful place.

“Minor mistakes are common and inevitable,” Andrew Schwartzman, one of the attorneys following the case, said. “Lifetime tenure notwithstanding, judges and clerks are human.”

The Wire would add “reporters” to that list.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.