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Freedom of Commercial Expression$
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Roger A. Shiner

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780198262619

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198262619.001.0001

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(p.111) 6 Conclusion
Freedom of Commercial Expression

Roger A. Shiner

Oxford University Press

It is necessary to take the array of arguments for the commercial expression doctrine that emerge from the court cases cited in the previous chapters and assess their cogency. The arguments make many tacit assumptions — assumptions about the nature of rights, about what it is to defend a jurisprudential thesis, about the nature of constitutional rights, and about the appropriate way to argue for constitutional rights. Essentially, there are several theses that emerge about commercial expression or commercial speech in the U.S. Supreme Court case of Virginia Board, such as: commercial speech cannot be wholly outside the protection of the First Amendment; the purely economic interest of the speaker of commercial speech is a constitutionally legitimate interest; society also has an interest in the free flow of commercial information, because some commercial messages deal with matters of public interest; for the government to decide which information is proper for citizens to receive is unacceptable paternalism; and there are commonsense differences between commercial speech and other speech, which differences imply that commercial speech may receive a lower level of constitutional protection.

Keywords:   Supreme Court, court cases, constitutional rights, constitutional protection, paternalism, economic interest, commercial speech, commercial information, public interest

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