June 12, 2017

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San Francisco Soda Warning Free Speech Suit

Washington Legal Foundation files brief in support of First Amendment challenge to San Francisco soda warning.

  • As previously covered, the City of San Francisco passed legislation that requires health warnings to be placed on advertising for sugar-sweetened beverages. Industry and advertising trade associations filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation on First Amendment grounds. However, in May 2016, a California federal judge ruled against the plaintiffs and permitted the requirement to take effect on July 25, 2016.

  • The Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) has submitted an amicus brief supporting the American Beverage Association, the California Retailers Association, and the California State Outdoor Advertising Association in their continued efforts to challenge the ordinance on First Amendment Grounds.  The WLF brief argues that the requirement is a form of constitutionally impermissible compelled speech since it effectively forces manufacturers to denigrate their own products, at their own expense.

  • The trade associations are urging the Ninth Circuit to enjoin the San Francisco ordinance, and the case currently awaits oral argument.

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