Case Detail

Johanns v. Livestock Marketing Ass'n
On May 23, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the federal government may force beef producers to provide financial support for advertising with which they disagree, because the government at least nominally supervises the advertising. The 6-3 decision was a setback for WLF, which filed a brief in the case urging the Court to strike down the advertising program. WLF argued that the First Amendment protects not only the right to speak but also the right not to speak, and that forcing someone to provide financial support for private speech with which he disagrees violates his First Amendment rights. The Court held that First Amendment protections against compelled financial support of objectionable speech are inoperative when the speech is subject to government supervision, even when (as here) the funds are raised from a targeted group of individuals and the speech is never identified as originating with the government.
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More Information and Downloads:
10/15/2004: Download the Brief

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