(OFFSITE LINK)-authoritative memorandum of law
Black's Law Dictionary,
Sixth Edition, p. 271
Commercial speech doctrine. Speech that was categorized as "commercial" in nature
(i.e. speech that advertised a product or service for profit or for
business purpose) was formerly not afforded First Amendment freedom
of speech protection, and as such could be freely regulated by statutes
and ordinances. Valentine v. Chrestensen,
316 U.S. 52, 62 S.Ct. 920, 86 L.Ed. 1262. This doctrine, however,
has been essentially abrogated. Pittsburgh Press Co. v. Pittsburgh
Comm. on Human Rights,
413 U.S. 376, 93 S.Ct. 2553, 37 L.Ed.2d 669; Bigelow v. Virginia,
421 U.S. 809, 95 S.Ct. 2222, 44 L.Ed.2d 600; Virginia State Brd.
of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizen Council,
425 U.S. 748, 96 S.Ct. 1817, 48 L.Ed.2d 346.
Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, p. 271
United States of America v. Thurston Paul Bell, D.C. Civil Action 02-cv-02159,
heard January 25, 2005:
We have defined commercial speech as:
related to the economic interests of the speaker and its audience,
generally in the form of a commercial advertisement for the sale
of goods and services.” U.S. Healthcare, Inc. v. Blue Cross of Greater
Phila., 898 F.2d 914, 933 (3d. Cir.1990).
To determine whether speech is commercial, courts should consider whether:
(1) the speech is an advertisement;
(2) the speech refers to a specific product
or service; and
(3) the speaker has an economic motivation
for the speech.
Bolger v. Youngs Drug Prods. Corp.,
463 U.S. 60, 66-67 (1983); In re Orthopedic Bone Screw Prods. Liab.
Litig., 193 F.3d 781, 793-794 (3d Cir. 1999). An affirmative answer
to each question indicates “strong support” for the conclusion that
the speech is commercial.
[United States of America v. Thurston Paul Bell, D.C. Civil Action 02-cv-02159,
heard January 25, 2005]