San Diego Law Review

Library of Congress Authority File


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On May 24, 1976, the Supreme Court decided the case of Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., holding that the first and fourteenth amendments were violated by statutory bans on advertising prescription drug prices. In so doing the Court apparently eliminated the commercial speech exception to the first amendment protection which had its origin thirty-four years ago in Valentine v. Chrestensen. I say "apparently," because Virginia State Board left unclear its implications for most of the issues to which the commercial speech doctrine had been applied. This Article will deal primarily with those uncertain implications, with emphasis on regulations at the local government level. However, it will begin with a brief history of the commercial speech doctrine, followed by a discussion of the Supreme Court's treatment of that doctrine in Virginia State Board.

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