Take Home Midterm10-13-05
Commercial speech is not completely covered by the first amendment; however, through individual cases, regulations are established and abolished to form guidelines for commercial speech rights. In the case of Penn Advertising of Baltimore v. Mayor and City Council, both sides selected different regulation tests to argue their case. Using time, place manner restrictions as the litmus test in this case ignores the primary motive behind the restriction: the advertisement's content. The restriction only applies itself to stationary, outdoor advertising of alcohol and therefore is not content neutral. By specifying what type of speech cannot take place, the city of Baltimore has left the constitutional judgment to the Central Hudson test.
Additionally, precedence is frequently used to determine the methods and guideline for present cases. Therefore, the 44 Liquormart case further reinforces the use of the Central Hudson test instead of time, place and manner restrictions, as it represents the most important progress made in commercial speech since the Central Hudson case. In the 44 Liquormart case, the advertising of the prices of alcohol was restricted in newspapers instead of billboards. Both include the restriction of alcohol in a certain media and consequently, both should be held under the same scrutiny of the Central Hudson test.
When using either of these methods, some similarities between the tests become evident. In fact, both tests have 2 prongs which read virtually identical: questioning the amount of the state's interest in the regulation and its narrowness. Affirming the substantial interest of the state in the regulation ensures that there is a "good reason" for the regulation to exist in the first place. Also, by verifying the narrowness of the regulation, the government can prevent the abuse of the regulation due to its ambiguous language. Obviously, both of these...