First Amendment Case

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York

This was an important case decided by the United States Supreme Court, and it laid out a four part test for determining when restrictions on commercial speech violated the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Central Hudson Gas had challenged a Public Service Commission regulation that prohibited promotional advertising by electric utilities.
The court ruled that a regulation which completely bans an electric utility from advertising to promote the use of electricity violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.

The four-part test:

1. Is the expression protected by the First Amendment? For speech to come within that provision it must concern lawful activity and not be misleading.
2. Is the asserted governmental interest substantial?
3. Does the regulation advance the governmental interest asserted?
4. Is the regulation more extensive than is necessary to serve that interest?

    • Geoff Carr
    • March 25th, 2010

    It would have been better to read the justice’s comments for yourself instead of relying on wikipedia.

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