"Has the Supreme Court gone over the edge in constitutionalizing speech protection for socially harmful activities?" wrote the lead judge in the 2-to-1 decision of the New Orleans-based appeals court.
The decision creates an immediate conflict that will almost certainly force the Supreme Court to issue a ruling on First Amendment advertising. Earlier the 9th District Court of Appeals and a U.S. District Court in New Jersey struck down the same laws and rules.
Currently now the rulings mean it is legal to advertise gambling on broadcasts in much of the West and in New Jersey, but illegal to run the same ads in Louisiana and parts of the South. The New Orleans court had once before made a similar ruling. The Supreme Court, after issuing a decision striking down a Rhode Island law barring liquor price advertising in 1996 in a case called 44 Liquor Mart, had told the New Orleans court to re-examine the case.
Copyright August 1998, Crain Communications Inc.