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Bolger v. Youngs Drug Products

March 15, 2012

Why it Matters:

The Supreme Court defined commercial speech as speech that “does no more than propose a commercial transaction.”

Year: 1983


In this case Youngs Drug Products Corp. was sending direct mailings advertising its contraceptives to the public, but the Postal Service felt they were in violation of a federal statute prohibiting such advertisement. Youngs Drug Products claimed the statute violated the First Amendment and that the mailers were political speech because they taught people about birth control issues. Youngs filed for an injunction.


The Trial Court found for Youngs and issued and injunction, but the Postal Service appealed.
The U.S. Supreme Court found that the mailings were commercial speech and due a lesser degree of protection. As such, they were in violation of the statute prohibiting direct mail advertisement of contraceptives.
Bolger V. Youngs Drug Products Corp., 463 US 60 (Supreme Court 1983).

From → Case Law

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