NIKE FREE SPEECH CASE TO GO TO TRIAL

U.S. Supreme Court Dismisses Sneaker Giant's Appeal

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Sports apparel giant Nike faces trial in California in a closely watched First Amendment case after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear its appeal before a verdict was reached in the California courts.

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relations groups, had sought an early ruling on the First Amendment issues involved in the case, which it said chilled corporate rights to speak on public policy issues.

The case centers around Nike's statements, in ads, op-ed articles and letters to the editor, about the labor practices of its overseas contract manufacturers, which were challenged by a California activist who charged the claims were false advertising.

Nike said it was pleased that comments on its appeal recognized free-speech issues and said its "fight to preserve the right to free and open debate moves forward."

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