Essay about United States And The Rights Of The American Citizens

742 Words Nov 3rd, 2015 3 Pages
In 1980, Consolidated Edison Co., one of the largest energy companies in the United States, sought to place a written statement about their support of nuclear energy in the billing envelopes of their customers. However, the Natural Resources Defense Council or NRDC, an environmental advocacy group, felt that customers were a captive audience and should not be subjected to the company’s views. This disagreement led to a filing with the Public Service Commission of NY to have Con Ed’s envelopes opened to contrasting views. In response the Commission prohibited all utility companies from including any political viewpoints in their bill inserts. Con Ed made an appeal to reverse the decision but the appellate court ruled in favor of the commission. However, the ruling was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.
The main issue in this case was whether or not Consolidated Edison had constitutional rights. Did Consolidated Edison have the right to give their view? Does the First Amendment extend to monopolies? Were the rights of the American citizens still protected under the constitution? It was these questions which eventually turned the ruling in favor of Con Ed. But, in order to understand why the Commission ruling was overturned. You must first look at what the actually amendments were. Consolidated Edison supported their stance by using the First and Fourteenth Amendments. Under the First Amendment, commercial speech, such as advertisements receive more First…

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