Case Overview

Legal Principle at Issue

Whether a city ordinance prohibiting the distribution of commercial flyers from news racks on city-owned property violates the First Amendment.


The Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals and held that the city’s ordinance was unconstitutional.


The Discovery Network sought to distribute commercial flyers from newspaper racks on city-owned property. Cincinnati had a policy against allowing commercial distribution for reasons of safety and aesthetics.

Importance of Case

The Court affirmed that, while commercial speech maintains less protections, the government must have a reasonable fit between its justifiable aims and the means by which they accomplish those aims.

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