Q&A on the FDA Request for Comment on First Amendment and Commercial Speech Issues

What is the FDA's Request for Comment?

When are comments due?

How do I submit comments?

What should I say in my comments?

How should I present my comments?

What is the existing law with regard to commercial speech?

Why shouldn't commercial speech have strong constitutional protections?

Relevant FDA Notices and Related Material

Relevant FDA Notices and Related Material

Suggestions for Submitting Comments

On corporate constitutional rights and commercial speech

On Direct-to-Consumer pharmaceutical advertising

On Tobacco advertising

Background Infromation

Corporate Constitutional Rights and Commercial Speech

Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising

Information on Commercial Speech Rights

Mokhiber and Weissman

A look at recent developments in the commercial speech doctrine, and brief explanation of the FDA's request for comment.

"First Amendment Follies: Expanding Corporate Speech Rights," Robert Weissman, Multinational Monitor, May 1998
An overview of the evolution of the commercial speech doctrine

Thompson v. Western States Medical Center pdf version

A key recent decision issued by the U.S. Supreme Court, and one of the prompts for the FDA's request for comment.

Central Hudson Gas and Elec. Co. v. Public Service Commission of New York

The Supreme Court decision which provides the current framework for analyzing commercial speech cases.

Kasky v. Nike

In a recent decision, the California Supreme Court moved in the opposite direction from federal rulings on commercial speech. With Nike disputing claims about working conditions in factories making its products, the California Supreme Court held that these should be judged under commercial -- rather than political -- speech standards, and that the company could therefore be sued for making false and misleading claims.

For more on this decision, see also:

Josh Richman, "Greenwashing on Trial," Mother Jones, February 2002

Jeff Milchen, "Demeaning Our Constitution with "Corporate Personhood,"
Reclaim Democracy, May 15, 2002

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