Case Study 6
Third-party candidate inclusion in televised debates

An independent candidate with little popular support, Ralph Forbes, was denied permission to participate in a debate sponsored by a state-owned public television station in 1992. The Arkansas Educational Television Commission (AETC) had selected the two major party candidates to debate. Forbes sued for his inclusion.

  • Is this speech protected?
  • If not, what harm might occur as a result of the speech?
  • What value or right is conflicting with free speech in this case?