Retail Digital Network, LLC v. Prieto, No. 13-56069 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
RDN filed suit challenging the constitutionality of California Business and Professions Code Section 25503(f)–(h), which forbids manufacturers and wholesalers of alcoholic beverages from giving anything of value to retailers for advertising their alcoholic products. The Ninth Circuit explained that it had considered the same challenge to section 25503(h) thirty years ago in Actmedia, Inc. v. Stroh, 830 F.2d 957 (9th Cir. 1986). The en banc court reaffirmed Actmedia's core holding that section 25503(h) withstands First Amendment scrutiny because it directly and materially advanced the State's interest in maintaining a triple-tiered market system, and because there was a sufficient fit between that interest and the legislative scheme. In rejecting the First Amendment challenge, the en banc court applied the four-part test established by Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980), for evaluating restrictions on commercial speech. However, the en banc court disapproved of Actmedia's reliance on California's interest in promoting temperance as a
justification for section 25503(h). Therefore,the en banc court affirmed the district court's orders granting summary judgment to defendant.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on January 7, 2016.