City Groups Support Santa Cruz Decision


Five organizations that represent municipal regulators are urging the Bush administration to support an appeals court ruling that upheld a transfer denial involving Charter Communications Inc. and the county of Santa Cruz, Calif.

The U.S. Supreme Court has asked the U.S. solicitor general in the Justice Department to submit its views on the case with regard to federal protections granted to cable companies in clashes with local franchising authorities. The solicitor general had not filed with the court yet, a source said Monday.

In a Sept. 26 letter, the city groups effectively urged the solicitor general not to support review by the high court, indicating that a court victory for Charter would upset traditional deference shown to nonfederal entities in contract-law disputes.

"Based on these concerns, we respectfully request that the solicitor general's office seriously consider the interests and responsibilities of local government in making its recommendation to the Supreme Court," the letter said.

The letter was signed by the leaders of the International Municipal Lawyers Association, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors and the United States Conference of Mayors.