Vanderbilt Law Review


Dabney E. Bragg

First Page



This Note examines the "protect the children" rationale as justification for the regulation of program content to determine if it is likely to withstand future challenges. Initially, the Note reviews the Pacifica decisions to illustrate how the rationale recently has been employed. The Note then considers this rationale in light of traditional first amendment analysis and the interface of that analysis with the rights of children, concluding that the rationale does not justify abridgment of the first amendment. The Note then considers the effect of broadcasting's "unique characteristics" upon this analysis, concluding that this added element does not tip the balance in favor of "protection". Finally, the Note examines other areas in which programming content has been regulated to protect children and offers proposals as to how children constitutionally may be protected from potentially harmful broadcasts.