WASHINGTON —Dish Network, as reported, is suing to
void a federal requirement that it begin rebroadcasting
at least 30 noncommercial stations this month.
If Dish prevails, though, the rest of the Satellite
Television Extension and Localism Act can still be
enforced, due to a provision in the recently adopted law.
That means satellite-TV providers would maintain their
ability to import distant network stations to areas not
reached by affiliates of the major broadcast networks.
During negotiations over the bill, House
Communications Subcommittee chairman Rick Boucher
(D-Va.), who opposed the mandate for practical and
constitutional reasons, included a provision to protect
a bill that took months of wrangling and numerous
extensions to pass. It says that “[i]f any provision of
this Act, an amendment made by this Act, or the
application of such provision or amendment to any
person or circumstance is held to be unconstitutional,
the remainder of this Act, the amendments made
by this Act, and the application of such provision or
amendment to any person or circumstance shall not be