517 U.S. 484 (1996)
Petitioners challenged a decision of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit which upheld R. I. Gen. Laws §§ 3-8-7 and 3-8-8.1 (1987) which prohibited advertisements that inform the public about retail prices of alcoholic beverages.
Petitioner liquor stores sought declaration that R.I. Laws, which prohibited alcohol price advertisements, violated the First Amendment, U.S. Constitutional, Amendment I. The trial court struck down the statutes as unconstitutional, but the appellate court reversed.
- The United States Supreme Court reversed the finding of the appellate court and concluded that the statutes abridged speech in violation of U.S. Constitutional, Amendment I, as made applicable to the states by the Due Process Clause, U.S. Constitutional, Amendment XIV.
- The Court said that the regulations were blanket bans on advertising and thus required special care in analysis.
- It said the commercial speech was protected and the governmental interest in reducing alcohol consumption was substantial, but the regulations did not directly advance the governmental interest asserted.
- The Court also held that the Twenty-first Amendment, U.S. Constitutional, Amendment XXI, did not save the regulations.
The Court reversed the decision upholding two statutes which prohibited advertisements that inform the public about retail prices of alcoholic beverages. It said that the regulations were blanket bans on advertising and failed a heightened scrutiny analysis, therefore, they violated the First Amendment.