Commercial Speech And Public Service Commission Essay

1624 Words 7 Pages
His positions on free speech issues certainly showed this deference. A prime example is that of his dissent in Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. V. Public Service Commission, where New York State attempted to bar a public utility company from advertising to encourage consumption. In an 8-1, decision the Supreme Court upheld the right of the company to advertise free from state regulation. Writing for the majority Powell established what commercial speech could and could not be regulated, “For commercial speech to come within the First Amendment, it at least must concern lawful activity and not be misleading. Next, it must be determined whether the asserted governmental interest to be served by the restriction on commercial speech is substantial” (1).
In this given case, the lone dissenter was Associate Justice Rehnquist, believing that the state of New York had an interest in barring advertising by the public utility given the need to conserve energy considering the oil embargo. Rehnquist also finds the decision to be an encroachment on state sovereignty,” its decision, improperly substitutes its own judgment for that of the State in deciding how a proper ban on promotional advertising should be drafted. With regard to this latter point, the Court adopts as its final part of a four-part test a "no more extensive than necessary" analysis that will unduly impair a state legislature 's ability to adopt legislation reasonably designed to promote interests that have always…

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