Missouri Broadcasters Assoc. v. Schmitt, No. 18-2611 (8th Cir. 2020)Annotate this Case
A Missouri statute and two regulations that regulate retail advertising by alcohol producers and distributors violated the First Amendment right to free speech. The Eighth Circuit held that, although the statute on its face does not restrict speech, its practical operation restricts speech based on content and speaker identity, and thus the statute implicates the First Amendment. Furthermore, Missouri's authority under the Twenty-First Amendment cannot save the statute from its First Amendment implications.
Under the Central Hudson test, the court held that Missouri has not demonstrated that the harm of undue influence is real or that the Statute alleviates this harm to a material degree. Furthermore, Missouri has also failed to prove that the Statute’s speech restriction as applied is not more extensive than necessary to serve its interest. Like the statute, the court held that the regulations failed to meet Central Hudson's third and fourth prongs.