Background

See Bellotti v. First National Bank of Boston, 435 U.S. 765 (1978) (invalidating Massachusetts restriction on corporate expenditures to influence voter referenda not related to corporate purpose); FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, Inc., 551 U.S. 449 (2007) (as applied to issue advocacy advertisements of non-profit corporation, federal corporate expenditure restriction held to violate First Amendment); Thompson v. Western States Med. Ctr., 535 U.S. 357 (2002) (federal restriction on advertising of compounded drugs invalidated); Lorillard v. Reilly, 533 U.S. 525 (2001) (Massachusetts regulations of tobacco advertising targeting children invalidated); Greater New Orleans Broad. Ass’n, Inc. v. United States, 527 U.S. 173 (1999) (federal restriction on advertising of gambling and casinos held unconstitutional); 44 LiquorMart, Inc. v. Rhode Island, 517 U.S. 484 (1996) (Rhode Island law restricting alcohol price advertising invalidated); Robert E. Rubin, Secretary of the Treasury v. Coors Brewing Co., 514 U.S. 476 (1995) (federal restriction on advertising alcohol level in beer invalidated); City of Cincinnati v. Discovery Network Inc., 507 U.S. 410 (1993) (municipal ban on news racks for advertising circulars on public property held unconstitutional); Pacific Gas & Elec. Co. v. Pub. Util. Comm’n of California, 475 U.S. 1 (1986) (invalidating California rule that utility corporation must make bill envelopes, which are property of ratepayers, available for other points of view besides that of the corporation); Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Pub. Serv. Comm’n of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980) (New York rule restricting advertising that promotes energy consumption invalidated); Bellsouth Telecomm., Inc. v. Farris, 542 F.3d 499 (6th Cir. 2008) (Kentucky may not prohibit corporation’s misrepresentation of a tax in customers’ bills); Allstate Ins. Co. v. Abbott, 495 F.3d 151 (5th Cir. 2007) (Texas law regulating advertising of auto body shops tied to auto insurers invalidated); This That & the Other Gift & Tobacco, Inc. v. Cobb County, Georgia, 439 F.3d 1275 (11th Cir. 2006) (Georgia ban on advertisements of sexual devices invalidated); Passions Video, Inc. v. Nixon, 458 F.3d 887 (8th Cir. 2006) (Missouri statute restricting advertisements of sexually explicit businesses invalidated); Bad Frog Brewery v. N.Y. State Liquor Auth., 134 F.3d 87, 91 & n.1 (2d Cir. 1998) (New York regulation barring beer bottle label with gesture described by the Court as “acknowledged by Bad Frog to convey, among other things, the message ‘fuck you’” held unconstitutional) ; Int’l Dairy Foods Assoc. v. Amestoy, 92 F.3d 67 (2d Cir. 1996) (Vermont law requiring disclosure on label of dairy products containing milk from cows treated with bovine growth hormones invalidated); New York State Ass’n of Realtors, Inc. v. Shaffer, 27 F.3d 834 (2d Cir. 1994) (invalidating New York law authorizing the Secretary of State to declare “non solicitation” zones for real estate brokers); Sambo’s Rest., Inc. v. City of Ann Arbor, 663 F.2d 686 (6th Cir. 1981) (First Amendment allows corporation to break agreement with City and use name found to be deeply offensive and carry prejudicial meaning to African Americans); John Donnelly & Sons v. Campbell, 639 F.2d 6 (1st Cir. 1980) (invalidating Maine law restricting billboard pollution, even though law allowed (and paid for) commercial signs put up by state of uniform size at exits and visitors centers); Washington Legal Found. v. Friedman, 13 F. Supp. 2d 51 (D.D.C. 1998) (invalidating federal law regulating drug manufacturers’ use of journal reprints and drug corporation-sponsored educational seminars to promote off-label uses for prescription drugs); Equifax Services Inc. v. Cohen, 420 A. 2d. 189 (Me. 1980) (invalidating portions of Maine credit reporting statute as First Amendment violation).

Many more such cases may be found in the state and federal reports.

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