This post was co-authored by Stoel Rives summer associate Chad Punch.
Earlier this summer, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals revisited an issue that it had examined thirty years prior: whether a California Prohibition-era tied house law is unconstitutional under the First Amendment because it impermissibly restricts commercial speech. Specifically, in Retail Digital Network, LLC v. Prieto (No. 13-56069), the plaintiff, Retail Digital Network, LLC (“RDN”) sued Ramona Prieto (“Prieto”) in her official capacity as Acting Director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control (“CABC”) seeking a declaration that California Business and Professions Code § 25503(f)–(h), which prohibits alcohol manufacturers and wholesalers from providing anything of value to retailers in exchange for advertising their alcohol products, violates the First Amendment of the Constitution. Hearkening back to its earlier decision in Actmedia, Inc. v. Stroh (830 F.2d 957 (9th Cir. 1986)), the court here ultimately disagreed with RDN’s arguments and left California’s longstanding tied house laws intact.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Rejects Retail Digital Network’s Challenge to the Constitutionality of California Tied House Law