The US Supreme Court will rule in Nike vs. Kasky whether Nike's statements on the working conditions in its Asian factories are commercial speech and subject to truth-in-advertising laws. Nike appealed a May 2002 California Supreme Court decision that says when a corporation makes "factual representations about its own products or its own operations, it must speak truthfully." Nike says that the First Amendment protects its statements. Thirty-two media companies and organizations -- including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Tribune Company, the Hearst Corporation, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN and the National Association of Broadcasters -- have filed a brief on behalf of Nike. They argue that reporters would not be able to get company executives to talk freely about their industry because of a fear of lawsuits if a company is believed to be lying and that this would squelch free and open public debate. Activists at organizations like ReclaimDemocracy.org, however, see this defense as a red herring. They characterize the case as a question of corporate personhood and argue that corporations do not have a Constitutional right to free speech. Nike has assembled an "all-star legal team" to argue its case.
Supreme Court Will Hear Kasky vs Nike On Corporate PR