ACLU files brief against Missouri’s unconstitutional alcohol advertising laws – here are the briefs in the important Missouri Broadcasters First Amendment alcohol advertising 8th Circuit appeal

The state filed the final reply brief yesterday (links to all the briefs below).

For those of you looking for a quick refresher (on this case we’ve been following since 2016), this is the second appeal in this matter where a group of broadcasters, along with a bar, and a grape farmer brought a First Amendment challenge to Missouri’s prohibitions on truthful alcohol advertising.They argued that Missouri’s laws and regs restrict the manner and methods and truthful content of their alcohol advertising.

A federal district court recently agreed with the plaintiffs, after a full trial, and entered a decision finding the two alcohol advertising laws and a tied-house provision of Missouri’s liquor laws violated the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs. In doing so, the court held that the laws failed to advance Missouri’s alleged interests in dissuading over-consumption, reducing underage drinking, and maintaining an orderly marketplace. Specifically, in ruling against Missouri, the court found that based on the evidence, advertising bans don’t reduce consumption, nor do they provide a discernable reduction in underage consumption, and that prohibiting certain advertising like price disclosures from occurring outside (or off premises) of retailers but not inside the same retailer was inconsistent.

The order overturning the regulations and the statute was so important and its ruling so transformative that the Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control even issued emergency amendments to their regulations to come into compliance with the holding of the district court’s ruling.

We’ve been following the different arguments, (here’s our post on the initial briefs challenging the district court’s ruling on the alcohol advertising restrictions ) and will be posting later on the noteworthy assertions made in these briefs, but wanted to get copies to you, dear reader. Enjoy:

Ashley Brandt

Hi there! I’m happy you’re here. My name is Ashley Brandt and I’m an attorney in Chicago representing clients in the Food and Beverage, Advertising, Media, and Real Estate industries. A while back I kept getting calls and questions from industry professionals and attorneys looking for advice and information on a fun and unique area of law that I’m lucky enough to practice in. These calls represented a serious lack of, and need for, some answers, news, and information on the legal aspects of marketing and media. I've got this deep seeded belief that information should be readily available and that the greatest benefit from the information age is open access to knowledge... so ... this blog seemed like the best way to accomplish that. I enjoy being an attorney and it’s given me some amazing opportunities, wonderful experiences, and an appreciation and love for this work. I live in Chicago and work at an exceptional law firm, Goldstein & McClintock, with some truly brilliant people. Feel free to contact me at any time with any issues, comments, concerns… frankly, after reading this far, I hope you take the time to at least let me know what you think about the blog and how I can make it a better resource.

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