Opinions & Commentaries

This case involves the validity, under the Constitution of the United States, of an act of the State of Nebraska, approved July 3d, 1903, entitled "An act to prevent and punish the desecration of the flag of the United States."[1]

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Appellant, Alma Lovell, was convicted in the Recorder's Court of the City of Griffin, Georgia, of the violation of a city ordinance and was sentenced to imprisonment for fifty days in default of the payment of a fine of fifty dollars. The violation, which is not denied, consisted of the distribution without the required permission of a pamphlet and magazine in the nature of religious tracts, setting forth the gospel of the "Kingdom of Jehovah." Appellant did not apply for a permit, as she regarded herself as sent "by Jehovah to do His work," and that such an application would have been "an act of disobedience to His commandment."

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Overruled

The respondent, a citizen of Florida, owns a former United States Navy submarine which he exhibits for profit. *53 In 1940 he brought it to New York City and moored it at a State pier in the East River. He prepared and printed a handbill advertising the boat and soliciting visitors for a stated admission fee. On his attempting to distribute the bill in the city streets, he was advised by the petitioner, as Police Commissioner, that this activity would violate § 318 of the Sanitary Code, which forbids distribution in the streets of commercial and business advertising matter,[1] but was told that he might freely distribute handbills solely devoted to "information or a public protest."

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The City of Jeannette, Pennsylvania, has an ordinance, some forty years old, which provides in part:

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319 U.S. 103 63 S.Ct. 890 87 L.Ed. 1290 Roscoe JONES, Petitioner,v.CITY OF OPELIKA. Lois BOWDEN and Zada Sanders, Petitioners, v. CITY OF FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS. Charles JOBIN, Appellant, v. The STATE OF ARIZONA. Nos. 280, 314, 966. Reargued March 10, 11, 1943. Decided May 3, 1943. Robert MURDOCK, Jr., Petitioner, v. COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA (CITY OF JEANNETTE), and seven other cases. Nos. 280, 314, 966, 480—487. Supreme Court of the United States Reargued March 10, 11, 1943. May 3, 1943 Mr. Justice REED, dissenting. Mr. Hayden C. Covington, of Brooklyn, N.Y., for petitioners. No appearance for respondents. PER CURIAM. […]

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This case presents questions as to the validity of an order issued by petitioner, the Postmaster General, which directed that mail addressed to some of respondents be returned to the senders marked "Fraudulent," and that postal money order sums payable to their order be returned to the remitters.

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Section 124 of the Traffic Regulations of the City of New York[1] promulgated by the Police Commissioner provides:

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The appellant here, Jack H. Breard, a regional representative of Keystone Readers Service, Inc., a Pennsylvania corporation, was arrested while going from door to door in the City of Alexandria, Louisiana, soliciting subscriptions for nationally known magazines. The arrest was solely on the ground that he had violated an ordinance because he had not obtained the prior consent of the owners of the residences solicited. Breard, a resident of Texas, was in charge of a crew of solicitors who go from house to house in the various cities and towns in the area under Breard's management and solicit subscriptions for nationally known magazines and periodicals, including among others the Saturday Evening Post, Ladies' Home Journal, Country Gentleman, Holiday, Newsweek, American Home, Cosmopolitan, Esquire, Pic, Parents, Today's Woman and True. These solicitors spend only a few days in each city, depending upon its size. Keystone sends a card from its home office to the new subscribers acknowledging receipt of the subscription and thereafter the periodical is forwarded to the subscriber by the publisher in interstate commerce through the mails.

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These cases, coming to us from two different Circuits, present identical issues, and may appropriately be dealt with together in one opinion. The issues involve the interpretation and validity of Treas. Reg. 111, § 29.23 (o)-1 and § 29.23 (q)-1 as applied by the courts below to deny deduction as "ordinary and necessary" business expenses under § 23 (a) (1) (A) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1939[1] to sums expended by the respective taxpayer petitioners in furtherance of publicity programs designed to help secure the defeat of initiative measures then pending before the voters of the States of Washington and Arkansas.

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412 U.S. 94 (1973) COLUMBIA BROADCASTING SYSTEM, INC. v. DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL COMMITTEE. No. 71-863. Supreme Court of United States. Argued October 16, 1972. Decided May 29, 1973.[*] CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA CIRCUIT. *96 J. Roger Wollenberg argued the cause for petitioner in No. 71-863. With him on the briefs were Lloyd N. Cutler, Timothy B. Dyk, Daniel Marcus, Robert V. Evans, John D. Appel, and Joseph DeFranco. Solicitor General Griswold argued the cause for petitioners in No. 71-864. With him on the brief were Acting Assistant Attorney General Comegys, Howard E. […]

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The Human Relations Ordinance of the City of Pittsburgh (the Ordinance) has been construed below by *378 the courts of Pennsylvania as forbidding newspapers to carry "help-wanted" advertisements in sex-designated columns except where the employer or advertiser is free to make hiring or employment referral decisions on the basis of sex. We are called upon to decide whether the Ordinance as so construed violates the freedoms of speech and of the press guaranteed by the First and Fourteenth Amendments. This issue is a sensitive one, and a full understanding of the context in which it arises is critical to its resolution.

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An advertisement carried in appellant's newspaper led to his conviction for a violation of a Virginia statute that made it a misdemeanor, by the sale or circulation of any publication, to encourage or prompt the procuring of an abortion. The issue here is whether the editor-appellant's First Amendment rights were unconstitutionally abridged by the statute. The First Amendment, of course, is applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment. Schneider v. State, 308 U. S. 147, 160 (1939).

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The plaintiff-appellees in this case attack, as violative of the First and Fourteenth Amendments,[1] that portion of § 54-524.35 of Va. Code Ann. (1974), which provides that a pharmacist licensed in Virginia is guilty of unprofessional *750 conduct if he "(3) publishes, advertises or promotes, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever, any amount, price, fee, premium, discount, rebate or credit terms . . . for any drugs which may be dispensed only by prescription."[2] The three-judge District Court declared the quoted portion of the statute "void and of no effect," Jurisdictional Statement, App. 1, and enjoined the defendant-appellants, the Virginia State Board of Pharmacy and the individual members of that Board, from enforcing it. 373 F. Supp. 683 (ED Va. 1974). We noted probable jurisdiction of the appeal. 420 U. S. 971 (1975).

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This case presents the question whether the First Amendment permits a municipality to prohibit the posting of "For Sale" or "Sold" signs when the municipality acts to stem what it perceives as the flight of white homeowners from a racially integrated community.

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431 U.S. 678 (1977) CAREY, GOVERNOR OF NEW YORK, ET AL. v. POPULATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL ET AL. No. 75-443. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 10, 1977. Decided June 9, 1977. APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK. *680 Arlene R. Silverman, Assistant Attorney General of New York, argued the cause for appellants. With her on the briefs were Louis J. Lefkowitz, Attorney General, and Samuel A. Hirshowitz, First Assistant Attorney General. Michael N. Pollet argued the cause for appellees. With him on the brief was Steven Delibert.[*] *681 MR. JUSTICE BRENNAN […]

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As part of its regulation of the Arizona Bar, the Supreme Court of that State has imposed and enforces a disciplinary rule that restricts advertising by attorneys. This case presents two issues: whether §§ 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U. S. C. §§ 1 and 2, forbid such state regulation, and whether the operation of the rule violates the First Amendment, made applicable to the States through the Fourteenth.[1]

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We consider on this appeal whether a State may punish a member of its Bar who, seeking to further political and ideological goals through associational activity, including litigation, advises a lay person of her legal rights and discloses in a subsequent letter that free legal assistance is available from a nonprofit organization with which the lawyer and her associates are affiliated. Appellant, a member of the Bar of South Carolina, received a public reprimand for writing such a letter. The appeal is opposed by the State Attorney General, on behalf of the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline of the Supreme Court of South Carolina. As this appeal presents a substantial question under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, as interpreted in NAACP v. Button, 371 U. S. 415 (1963), we noted probable jurisdiction.

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In Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U. S. 350 (1977), this Court held that truthful advertising of "routine" legal services is protected by the First and Fourteenth Amendments against *449 blanket prohibition by a State. The Court expressly reserved the question of the permissible scope of regulation of "in-person solicitation of clients—at the hospital room or the accident site, or in any other situation that breeds undue influence—by attorneys or their agents or `runners.'" Id., at 366. Today we answer part of the question so reserved, and hold that the State—or the Bar acting with state authorization— constitutionally may discipline a lawyer for soliciting clients in person, for pecuniary gain, under circumstances likely to pose dangers that the State has a right to prevent.

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Texas law prohibits the practice of optometry under a trade name. It also requires that four of the six members of the State's regulatory board, the Texas Optometry Board, be members of the Texas Optometric Association, a professional organization of optometrists. A three-judge District Court sustained the constitutionality of the statute governing the composition of the Texas Optometry Board against a challenge based on the First and Fourteenth Amendments. But it held that the prohibition of the practice of optometry under a trade name ran afoul of First Amendment protection of commercial speech. 438 F. Supp. 428 (ED Tex. 1977). These appeals and the cross-appeal bring both of the District Court's holdings before the Court.[1]

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The issue in this case is the validity under the First and Fourteenth Amendments of a municipal ordinance prohibiting the solicitation of contributions by charitable organizations that do not use at least 75 percent of their receipts for "charitable purposes," those purposes being defined to exclude solicitation expenses, salaries, overhead, and other administrative expenses. The Court of Appeals held the ordinance unconstitutional. We affirm that judgment.

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The case presents the question whether a regulation of the Public Service Commission of the state of New York violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments because it completely bans promotional advertising by an electrical utility.

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The question in this case is whether the First Amendment, as incorporated by the Fourteenth Amendment, is violated by an order of the Public Service Commission of the State of New York that prohibits the inclusion in monthly electric bills of inserts discussing controversial issues of public policy.

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453 U.S. 490 (1981) METROMEDIA, INC., ET AL. v. CITY OF SAN DIEGO, ET AL. No. 80-195. Supreme Court of United States. Argued February 25, 1981. Decided July 2, 1981. APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA. *492 Floyd Abrams argued the cause for appellants. With him on the briefs were Theodore B. Olson, Dean Ringel, and Wayne W. Smith. C. Alan Sumption argued the cause for appellees. With him on the brief was John W. Witt.[*] Briefs of amici curiae urging affirmance were filed for the United States by Solicitor General McCree, Assistant Attorney General Moorman, Deputy Solicitor General […]

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The Court's decision in Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U. S. 350 (1977), required a re-examination of long-held perceptions as to "advertising" by lawyers. This appeal presents the question whether certain aspects of the revised ethical rules of the Supreme Court of Missouri regulating lawyer advertising conform to the requirements of Bates.

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An ordinance of appellant village requires a business to obtain a license if it sells any items that are "designed or marketed for use with illegal cannabis or drugs." Guidelines define the items (such as "roach clips," which are used to smoke cannabis, "pipes," and "paraphernalia"), the sale of which is required to be licensed. Appellee, which sold a variety of merchandise in its store, including "roach clips" and specially designed pipes used to smoke marihuana, upon being notified that it was in possible violation of the ordinance, brought suit in Federal District Court, claiming that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague and overbroad, and requesting injunctive and declaratory relief and damages. The District Court upheld the ordinance and awarded judgment to the village defendants. The Court of Appeals reversed on the ground that the ordinance is unconstitutionally vague on its face.

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Title 39 U. S. C. § 3001(e)(2) prohibits the mailing of unsolicited advertisements for contraceptives. The District Court held that, as applied to appellee's mailings, the statute violates the First Amendment. We affirm.

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Since the decision in Virginia Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U. S. 748 (1976), in which the Court held for the first time that the First Amendment precludes certain forms of regulation of purely commercial speech, we have on a number of occasions addressed the constitutionality of restraints on advertising and solicitation by attorneys. See In re R. M. J., 455 U. S. 191 (1982); In re Primus, 436 U. S. 412 (1978); Ohralik v. Ohio State Bar Assn., 436 U. S. 447 (1978); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U. S. 350 (1977). This case presents additional unresolved questions regarding the regulation of commercial speech by attorneys: whether a State may discipline an attorney for soliciting business by running newspaper advertisements containing nondeceptive illustrations and legal advice, and whether a State may seek to prevent potential deception of the public by requiring attorneys to disclose in their advertising certain information regarding fee arrangements.

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475 U.S. 1 (1986) PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC CO. v. PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION OF CALIFORNIA ET AL.   No. 84-1044. Supreme Court of United States.   Argued October 8, 1985 Decided February 25, 1986 APPEAL FROM THE SUPREME COURT OF CALIFORNIA*3 Robert L. Harris argued the cause for appellant. With him on the briefs was Malcolm H. Furbush. Mark Fogelman argued the cause for appellees. With him on the brief for appellee Public Utilities Commission of California were Janice E. Kerr and Hector Anninos. Jerome B. Falk, Jr., Steven L. Mayer, and Frederic D. Woocher filed a brief for appellees […]

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In this case we address the facial constitutionality of a Puerto Rico statute and regulations restricting advertising of casino gambling aimed at the residents of Puerto Rico. Appellant Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates, doing business in Puerto Rico as Condado Holiday Inn Hotel and Sands Casino, filed suit against appellee Tourism Company of Puerto Rico in the Superior Court of Puerto Rico, San Juan Section. Appellant *331 sought a declaratory judgment that the statute and regulations, both facially and as applied by the Tourism Company, impressibly suppressed commercial speech in violation of the First Amendment and the equal protection and due process guarantees of the United States Constitution.[1] The Superior Court held that the advertising restrictions had been unconstitutionally applied to appellant's past conduct. But the court adopted a narrowing construction of the statute and regulations and held that, based on such a construction, both were facially constitutional. The Supreme Court of Puerto Rico dismissed an appeal on the ground that it "d[id] not present a substantial constitutional question." We postponed consideration of the question of jurisdiction until the hearing on the merits. 474 U. S. 917 (1985). We now hold that we have jurisdiction to hear the appeal, and we affirm the decision of the Supreme Court of Puerto Rico with respect to the facial constitutionality of the advertising restrictions.

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In this case, we consider the scope and constitutionality of a provision of the Amateur Sports Act of 1978, 36 U. S. C. §§ 371-396, that authorizes the United States Olympic Committee to prohibit certain commercial and promotional uses of the word "Olympic."

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486 U.S. 466 (1988) SHAPERO v. KENTUCKY BAR ASSOCIATION No. 87-16. Supreme Court of United States. Argued March 1, 1988 Decided June 13, 1988 CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF KENTUCKY *468 Donald L. Cox argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs was Mary Janice Lintner. Frank P. Doheny, Jr., argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was Joseph L. Lenihan.[*] JUSTICE BRENNAN announced the judgment of the Court and delivered the opinion of the Court as to Parts I and II and an opinion as to Part III in which JUSTICE MARSHALL, JUSTICE […]

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This case presents the question whether governmental restrictions upon commercial speech are invalid if they go beyond the least restrictive means to achieve the desired end.

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496 U.S. 91 (1990) PEEL v. ATTORNEY REGISTRATION AND DISCIPLINARY COMMISSION OF ILLINOIS No. 88-1775. Supreme Court of United States. Argued January 17, 1990 Decided June 4, 1990 CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF ILLINOIS *93 Bruce J. Ennis, Jr., argued the cause and filed briefs for petitioner. Stephen J. Marzen argued the cause for the Federal Trade Commission as amicus curiae urging reversal. With him on the brief were Solicitor General Starr, Assistant Attorney General Rill, Deputy Solicitor General Merrill, Kevin J. Arquit, Jay C. Shaffer, and Ernest J. Isenstadt. William F. Moran III argued the cause for respondent. […]

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A Nevada criminal defense attorney called a press conference after his client was indicted to maintain his client's innocence. He also indicated that the evidence would show that a police officer actually was guilty of the offense for which his client was charged. After his client was acquitted, the attorney was charged by the state bar association with violating Nevada Supreme Court Rule 177, which prohibits an attorney from making a statement to the press that he or she knows or reasonably should know will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding. A subsection of Rule 177 provides that an attorney may comment on general matters such as the nature of the defense. The Southern Nevada Disciplinary Board found that the attorney had violated Rule 177, and the Nevada Supreme Court affirmed that ruling. Speech critical of the government and its officials generally cannot be prohibited or punished absent a compelling governmental interest. Clark v. Community for Creative Non-Violence, 468 U.S. 288 (1984). On the other hand, the Court has held that the speech of attorneys participating in a particular case can be regulated if the regulation is necessary to further the ends of justice. Shepard v. Maxwell, 384 U.S. 333 (1966). In any event, a regulation of speech cannot be enforced if it is so vague that it forces the regulated party to guess as to the limits of the regulation. Grayned v. City of Rockford, 408 U.S. 104 (1972).

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Discovery Network, Inc., provides educational and other programs to adults in the Cincinnati area. It advertises these programs in free magazines. Approximately one-third of the magazines were distributed through 38 newsracks that the City of Cincinnati authorized it to place on public property in 1989. Harmon Publishing Company, Inc., similarly distributed magazines advertising real estate through 24 newsracks on public property. In 1990, the City revoked the permits that allowed Discovery and Harmon to use their newsracks, claiming that a City ordinance prohibited the distribution of "commercial handbills" on public property. Although the application of this ordinance removed only 62 of the more than 1,500 newsracks placed about the City, the City claimed that its action furthered important safety and aesthetic goals. Discovery and Harmon challenged the action in federal court, arguing that the City's action violated the First Amendment. The district court agreed, and the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit affirmed. The First Amendment right of publishers to disseminate their product through newsracks is not absolute. A local governmental entity may regulate the placement and number of newsracks to promote its substantial interest in public safety and aesthetics, but that entity must establish a reasonable "fit" between its regulation and the goals sought to be achieved. Board of Trustees of State Univ. of N. Y. v. Fox, 492 U.S. 469 (1989). The government's right to regulate commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is greater than its right to regulate non-commercial speech. The government may regulate commercial speech if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978).

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Scott Fane, a certified public accountant, built a successful solo practice in New Jersey by making unsolicited telephone calls to business executives and then arranging meetings to explain his expertise and services. Fane then moved to Florida, where he learned that such calls were prohibited by the Florida Board of Accountancy. Fane challenged this prohibition on First Amendment grounds, and the district court held that the rule was invalid as it applied to solicitations of business clients. The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed. In Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time recognized that commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is entitled to some First Amendment protection. The government therefore may regulate commercial speech only if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978).

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Edge Broadcasting Company owns a radio station in Moyock, North Carolina. Moyock is approximately three miles from the border between North Carolina and Virginia, and 92.2% of the station's audience lives in Virginia. Virginia allows state-run lotteries; North Carolina does not. The Federal Communications Act, 18 U.S.C. _ 1304, prohibits television and radio stations operating in non-lottery states from broadcasting lottery advertisements. Edge challenged the constitutionality of this prohibition, at least as the prohibition was applied to Edge. A federal district court in Virginia ruled in Edge's favor, holding that the prohibition was ineffective in shielding North Carolina residents from lottery advertising. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed. In Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time recognized that commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is entitled to some First Amendment protection. The government therefore may regulate commercial speech only if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978).

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Silvia Ibanez, an attorney, included "CPA" and "CFP" designations after her listing in the yellow pages. Those designations were truthful. The Florida Board of Accountancy, however, believed the designations were misleading and reprimanded her for deceptive conduct. Despite the fact that the Board was unable to point to any person who claimed to have been misled, the Board's decision was affirmed by the Florida District Court of Appeal. In Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time recognized that commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is entitled to some First Amendment protection. The government therefore may regulate commercial speech only if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978)

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The Federal Alcohol Administration Act prohibits beer labels from displaying alcohol content. The Coors Brewing Co. claimed that it had a First Amendment right to disseminate the alcohol content of its products. Although the proffered purpose of the legislation was to prevent "strength wars," i.e., marketplace competition based on the potency of different beers, other regulation of alcoholic beverages allows brewers to advertise alcohol content and requires wine and hard liquor manufacturers to display such information. In Virginia State Bd. of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976), the U.S. Supreme Court for the first time recognized that commercial speech speech that concerns only commercial or economic activity is entitled to some First Amendment protection. The government therefore may regulate commercial speech only if it is false or misleading or if the restriction directly and narrowly advances a substantial state interest. Central Hudson Gas & Elec. v. Public Serv. Comm. of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1978).

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Rules of the Florida Bar prohibit personal injury lawyers from sending targeted direct-mail solicitations to victims and their relatives for 30 days following an accident or disaster. This case asks us to consider whether such Rules violate the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. We hold that in the circumstances presented here, they do not.

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In 1956, Rhode Island adopted two statutes, R.I. Gen. Laws __ 3-8-7 and 3-8-8.1, that forbid both sellers and the media from advertising the price of any alcoholic beverage. The stated purpose of this legislation is to promote temperance by increasing the price of alcoholic beverages. These statutes were upheld by Rhode Island state courts. S & S Liquormart, Inc. v. Pastore, 497 A.2d 729 (R.I. 1985);Rhode Island Liquor Stores Ass'n. v. The Evening Call Pub. Co., 497 A.2d 331 (R.I. 1985). In early 1992, 44 Liquormart, a Rhode Island retail store that sells alcoholic beverages, and Peoples Super Liquor Stores, a Massachusetts retailer that would advertise in Rhode Island if it could, challenged the Rhode Island laws in federal court. The trial court, after a trial on the merits, held that the advertising ban was unconstitutional under the First Amendment. On appeal, the First Circuit Court of Appeals reversed. In Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of N.Y., 447 U.S. 557 (1980), the Court held that, under the First Amendment, truthful, non-misleading commercial speech can be restricted only if (1) the government has a substantial interest in regulating the speech, (2) the regulation directly advances that substantial interest, and (3) the regulation is not more extensive than necessary to advance that interest. In Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates v. Tourism Council of Puerto Rico, 478 U.S. 328 (1986), the Court held that a legislature's power to ban a particular product or activity included the power to ban all advertising of that product or activity.

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Under regulations (7 C.F.R. pts. 916 and 917) issued by the Secretary of Agriculture pursuant to the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937, 7 U.S.C. _ 601 et seq., all handlers of California peaches, nectarines, and plums are, among other things, annually assessed an amount that is used in part to finance generic advertising of these products. A number of handlers, whose total annual assessment chargeable to this advertising has been in excess of $500,000, challenged the regulations on several grounds, including that the regulation that required them to support the generic advertising campaign violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The administrative law judge ruled in favor of the handlers, but the Judicial Officer of the U.S. Department of Agriculture reversed that decision. The handlers then appealed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, which also rejected the handlers' First Amendment argument. On appeal, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the Secretary of Agriculture could not constitutionally require the handlers to finance the generic advertising campaign. Since 1980, the Court usually has analyzed First Amendment issues involving commercial speech under the standard that it set forth in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp., 447 U.S. 557 (1980). Under Central Hudson, regulation of lawful, non-misleading commercial speech must be evaluated under a three-part test: whether the governmental interest asserted in support of the regulation is substantial, whether the regulation directly advances that interest, and whether the regulation is more extensive than necessary to serve that interest. In Abood v. Detroit Bd. of Educ., 431 U.S. 209 (1977), and Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990), however, the Court held that members of organizations can be required to contribute financially to speech with which they disagree, as long as the speech is germane to the governmental interest that justifies the compelled membership.

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The Greater New Orleans Broadcasting Association, a non-profit trade association of various radio and television broadcasters in the New Orleans area, challenged the federal law banning broadcast advertisements of casino gaming. The law, 18 U.S.C. _ 1304 prohibits the broadcasting of "any advertisement of any lottery, gift enterprise, or similar scheme, offering prizes dependent in whole or in part upon lot or chance." The lower federal courts upheld the law, ruling that it did not violate the First Amendment under the U.S. Supreme Court's commercial speech doctrine. In order for a regulation of commercial speech to survive constitutional review, the regulation must directly and materially advance the government's substantial interests in the regulation. The government must demonstrate that the harms the speech- restriction advances are real and that the restriction will alleviate them in to a "material degree." The government cannot satisfy its constitutional burden by citing speculative harms.

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In 1996, California law was amended to prohibit the release of the addresses of persons arrested if the information would be used for commercial purposes. The same law allowed the release of such information if used for a "scholarly, journalistic, political or governmental purpose" or for "investigative purposes" by a licensed investigator. Both lower courts ruled the law unconstitutional on First Amendment grounds. Laws that burden commercial speech must advance a substantial governmental interest in a direct and material way and be narrowly drawn. Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Comm'n of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980). "Neither the First Amendment nor the Fourteenth Amendment mandates a right of access to government information or sources of information within the government's control." Houchins v. KQED, Inc., 438 U.S. 1 (1978).

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In 1996, United Foods, Inc., a mushroom producer in Tennessee, refused to pay assessments under a generic ad program promulgated pursuant to the Mushroom Promotion, Research, and Consumer Information Act of 1990. The United States then filed an action against United Food seeking to enforce the terms of a mushroom order. United Foods filed an action, alleging that the act and the generic ad program violated its First Amendment rights. The two actions were stayed until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the constitutionality of a generic ad program for California fruits in Glickman v. Wileman Bros. & Elliott, 521 U.S. 457 (1997). After the Supreme Court ruled the California program constitutional, an administrative law judge ruled in favor of the government. United Foods then sued in a federal district court. After United Foods' First Amendment suit was consolidated with the government's enforcement action, a federal district court ruled in 1998 that the Supreme Court's 1997 decision was "clearly dispositive." On appeal, a three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed, finding that the mushroom industry was far less regulated than the California fruit industry. The panel wrote: "The Court's holding in Wileman, we believe, is that nonideological, compelled, commercial speech is justified in the context of the extensive regulation of an industry but not otherwise. The government appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted certiorari on Nov. 27, 2000.

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Section 127(a) of the Food and Drug Administration Modernization Act of 1997 (FDAMA or Act), 111 Stat. 2328, 21 U. S. C. ง 353a, exempts "compounded drugs" from the Food and Drug Administration's standard drug approval requirements as long as the providers of those drugs abide by several restrictions, including that they refrain from advertising or promoting particular compounded drugs. Respondents, a group of licensed pharmacies that specialize in compounding drugs, sought to enjoin enforcement of the subsections of the Act dealing with advertising and solicitation, arguing that those provisions violate the First Amendment's free speech guarantee. The District Court agreed with respondents and granted their motion for summary judgment, holding that the provisions do not meet the test for acceptable government regulation of commercial speech set forth in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U. S. 557, 566 (1980). The court invalidated the relevant provisions, severing them from the rest of ง 127(a).

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For the third time in eight years, we consider whether a federal program that finances generic advertising to promote an agricultural product violates the First Amendment. In these cases, unlike the previous two, the dispositive question is whether the generic advertising at issue is the Government's own speech and therefore is exempt from First Amendment scrutiny.

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Congress enacted the Bankruptcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005 (BAPCPA or Act) to correct perceived abuses of the bankruptcy system.

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Vermont law restricts the sale, disclosure, and use ofpharmacy records that reveal the prescribing practices ofindividual doctors. Vt. Stat. Ann., Tit. 18, §4631 (Supp.

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Cite as: 567 U. S. ____ (2012) 1 Per Curiam SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES AMERICAN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., FKA WESTERN TRADITION PARTNERSHIP, INC., ET AL. v. STEVE BULLOCK, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF MONTANA, ET AL. ON PETITION FOR WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE SUPREME COURT OF MONTANA No. 11–1179. Decided June 25, 2012 PER CURIAM. A Montana state law provides that a “corporation may not make . . . an expenditure in connection with a candi- date or a political committee that supports or opposes a candidate or a political party.” Mont. Code Ann. §13– 35–227(1) (2011). The Montana […]

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