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Supreme Court To Decide Case Involving State Ban On Liquor Prices In Ads

TUESDAY, MAY 2, 1995

The Supreme Court announced Monday it will decide whether states can ban the advertising of liquor prices. The case, which pits the free speech rights of business against a state’s interest in controlling vice, could affect an array of commercial advertising.

The liquor case arises from a Rhode Island law forbidding retailers to advertise prices and prohibiting state newspapers and other media from accepting ads that refer to liquor prices. The 1956 law was intended to promote temperance.

While few states specifically prohibit prices in ads, many regulate liquor advertising in some way, said Rhode Island assistant attorney general Rebecca Tedford Partington.

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