The constitutionality of laws that allow states to grant statewide franchises is being challenged in a case in which the city of Detroit is suing Comcast's local subsidiary.
Detroit is suing Comcast, arguing that the 2006 Michigan law creating one statewide franchise for cable TV providers that applies to all local jurisdictions (passed largely to encourage AT&T and Verizon to provide video services in-state) violates the constitutions of both the United States and the state of Michigan, according to the Great Lakes Innovation and Technology Report.
The city claims that the Federal Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984 still controls its contractual relationships with Comcast, because under Article VI, Section 2 of the United States Constitution, "federal law is the supreme law of the United States and preempts all contrary state law," GLITR reported.
The local Comcast franchise is operating in accordance with the new 2006 law. The city reinstated its 1985 franchise.