Friday, April 4, 2014
In an order today, the District of Columbia Circuit Court that American Meat Institute v. United States Dep't of Agriculture will be heard en banc.
Recall that in its opinion last week, a panel of the DC Circuit upheld a requirement mandating the labeling of meat by country of origin. Resolving the First Amendment challenge involves a construction of Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel (1985), and the panel itself suggested that the "full court hear this case en banc to resolve for the circuit whether, under Zauderer, government interests in addition to correcting deception can sustain a commercial speech mandate that compels firms to disclose purely factual and non-controversial information."
Here's the issue as the court's order for simultaneous supplemental briefs phrases it:
Whether, under the First Amendment, judicial review of mandatory disclosure of "purely factual and uncontroversial" commercial information, compelled for reasons other than preventing deception, can properly proceed under Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626, 651 (1985), or whether such compelled disclosure is subject to review under Central Hudson Gas & Electric v. PSC of New York, 447 U.S. 56 (1980).
The briefs are due April 21.