Virginia State Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council 425 U.S. 748 (1976)

Author:Martin Shapiro
Pages:2800-2801
 
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Traditionally COMMERCIAL SPEECH was assumed to lie outside the FIRST AMENDMENT'S protection. This decision made clear that this assumption was obsolete. Virginia's rules governing professional pharmacists forbade the advertising of prices of prescription drugs. The Supreme Court, 7?1, held this rule invalid at the behest of a consumers' group, thus promoting the notion of a "right to receive" in the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. (See LISTENERS ' RIGHTS.) The Court's opinion indicated that false or misleading commercial advertising might be regulated?a rule the Court would never apply to political speech. For a few years, this decision stood as the Court's principal commercial speech precedent, only to be assimilated in the comprehensive

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opinion in CENTRAL HUDSON GAS V. PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION (1980).

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