American Beverage Assoc. v. City and County of San Francisco, No. 16-16072 (9th Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
The framework in Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel of Supreme Court of Ohio, 471 U.S. 626, 651 (1985), applied beyond the context of preventing consumer deception. The Ninth Circuit reversed the denial of the Associations' motion for a preliminary injunction that sought to enjoin the implementation of the City and County of San Francisco's ordinance that would require warnings about the health effects of certain sugar-sweetened beverages on specific types of fixed advertising within San Francisco. The panel held that, although there was no dispute that San Francisco has a substantial government interest in the health of its citizens, the Associations were likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the ordinance was an unjustified or unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that might offend the First Amendment by chilling protected commercial speech. In regard to the remaining steps of the preliminary injunction test, the panel also held that the Associations have demonstrated a likelihood of suffering irreparable harm if the ordinance was allowed to go into effect; the balance of hardships tipped sharply in favor of the Associations; and a preliminary injunction was in the public interest here.