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Media Advisory: March 3, 2003

For Immediate Release
Contact:
Nicholas Provenzo (703) 625-3296

CAC Calls on Supreme Court to Protect the Speech Rights of Businessmen

Alexandria, VA—The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism (CAC) has called on the US Supreme Court to protect the right of individuals, when acting through a corporation, to engage in free speech on matters related to their economic self-interest.  

CAC’s views supporting commercial free speech were expressed in an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief filed Friday in the case captioned, Nike v. Kasky. In May 2002, the California Supreme Court held that because Nike’s public statements about its operations might persuade consumers to buy its products, those statements must be treated as “commercial” speech, thereby warranting severely limited constitutional protection. In November 2002, CAC filed an amicus curiae in support of Nike’s petition to the Supreme Court to review the case.

“In its brief to the Court, CAC argued for the abolition of the commercial speech doctrine,” said Nicholas Provenzo, Chairman of CAC. “We believe that the First Amendment’s protections apply to everyone, regardless of their identity or motive.”

“In his 1996 concurring opinion in 44 Liquormart v. Rhode Island, Justice Thomas argued that the commercial speech doctrine should be abandoned on the grounds that there is no philosophical or historical basis for asserting that ‘commercial’ speech is of ‘lower value’ than ‘noncommercial’ speech,” said Provenzo.  “CAC agrees with Justice Thomas. In our brief we argue precisely along the lines he laid out in 1996.”

“In overruling the commercial speech doctrine, the Court should recognize the logical relationship between economic motives, individual rights, and the Constitution’s purpose in protecting free speech by protecting all non-fraudulent and non-defamatory speech, whether private or commercial,” said Provenzo.

The brief can be accessed online at:
http://www.capitalismcenter.org/Campaigns/Speech/CAC_Amicus_Nike_merits.pdf

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The mission of the Center for the Advancement of Capitalism is to present to policymakers, the judiciary and the public analyses to assist in the identification and protection of the individual rights of the American people. The Center undertakes projects and activities central to a moral defense of laissez-faire capitalism.


Copyright © 2003 The Center for the Advancement of Capitalism
PO Box 16325
Alexandria, VA 22302-8325, USA
Voice: (703) 625-3296 · Fax: (703) 997-1433



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