Even fringe candidates for office must be invited to participate in political debates on public TV or be told -- in "viewpoint-neutral" terms why not -- the Supreme Court said today in letting stand a lower court decision. The rationale for denying an invitation would have to satisfy an extremely high standard, because the lower court ruled that appearing on public TV was a candidate's First Amendment right. The 1992 case originated in Arkansas, when the Arkansas Educational Television Commission didn't invite Ralph Forbes, an independent U.S. House candidate, to a debate. Forbes sued; his lawsuit was first dismissed and then reinstated by the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The decision only applies to government-funded public stations.Post your opinion on theElection '94bulletin board.