The Washington Legal Foundation (WLF) has filed an amicus brief with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals arguing the court should enjoin a San Francisco statute requiring advertisements of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) to disclose health warnings related to their consumption. Am. Beverage Assoc. v. City of San Francisco, Nos. 16-16072 and 16-16073 (9th Cir., amicus brief filed August 4, 2016). The brief argues that the government cannot compel speech unless the speech is designed to dispel deception, and San Francisco has failed to show the warning prevents consumer deception.
“The First Amendment protects not only the right to speak but also the right not to speak,” WLF Chief Counsel Richard Samp said in an August 4, 2016, press release. “In the absence of evidence that advertisements for sugar-sweetened beverages are deceiving consumers, soft drink manufacturers should not be required to include ominous health warnings in their ads.”