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Nike v. Kasky

In Nike v. Kasky, the Supreme Court addressed the question whether Nike’s public relations campaign to persuade consumers that its overseas operations are “labor friendly” is protected by the First Amendment against a lawsuit alleging that Nike’s statements are false and misleading. Public Citizen submitted an amicus brief urging the Court to affirm the California Supreme Court’s decision allowing the lawsuit to go forward. The amicus brief explained that the Supreme Court lacked jurisdiction over the First Amendment question because the case was not yet final in the state court, and also argued that when corporations seek to use false or misleading statements about social issues to sell their products, they are just as subject to government regulation or consumer lawsuits as when they misrepresent more conventional features of their products such as price or quality. After oral argument, the Court dismissed the petition as improvidently granted.