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The Law Blogger is a law-related blog that informs and discusses current matters of legal interest to readers of The Oakland Press and to consumers of legal services in the community. We hope readers will  find it entertaining but also informative. The Law Blogger does not, however, impart legal advice, as only attorneys are licensed to provide legal counsel.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Congress vs NCAA


As the holidays approach, college football fans once again work up their annual lather over how to end the season, and crown a national champion; or not.

Last year was controversial.  This year features two undefeated teams (Boise State and TCU) that have no chance of playing each other under the present Bowl Championship Series.  So now, our Congress is getting involved?

This week, Joe Barton, (R-Texas) introduced a bill that would proscribe the promotion, marketing, or advertising of any post-season Division I college football game as a "championship" unless it is the final game of a single-elimination tournament.  Good luck with that.

One criticism of the proposed legislation is that it may violate the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.  While commercial speech may be closely scrutinized to prohibit untruthful or misleading messages, regular speech has the full protection of the First Amendment.

Some of you may be wondering, what is the government interest protected by this proposed bill?  Should Congress be discussing and debating college football?  Will President Obama sign it into law?

Perhaps we should simply put this down as another fine "slice of life" in the workings of our Democracy.  Besides, the annual debate among professional sports writers over who's best in football adds spice to the holiday season.

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