United States v. Edge Broadcasting Co., 509 U.S. 418 (1993)

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certiorari to the united states court of appeals for the fourth circuit

No. 92-486. Argued April 21, 1993—Decided June 25, 1993

Congress has enacted federal lottery legislation to assist States in their efforts to control this form of gambling. Among other things, the scheme generally prohibits the broadcast of any lottery advertisements, 18 U. S. C. 1304, but allows broadcasters to advertise state-run lotteries on stations licensed to a State which conducts such lotteries, 1307. This exemption was enacted to accommodate the operation of legally authorized state-run lotteries consistent with continued federal protection to nonlottery States' policies. North Carolina is a nonlottery State, while Virginia sponsors a lottery. Respondent broadcaster (Edge) owns and operates a radio station licensed by the Federal Communications Commission to serve a North Carolina community, and it broadcasts from near the Virginia-North Carolina border. Over 90% of its listeners are in Virginia, but the remaining listeners live in nine North Carolina counties. Wishing to broadcast Virginia lottery advertisements, Edge filed this action, alleging that, as applied to it, the restriction violated the First Amendment and the Equal Protection Clause. The District Court assessed the restriction under the four-factor test for commercial speech set forth in Central Hudson Gas & Elec. Corp. v. Public Serv. Comm'n of N. Y., 447 U. S. 557, 566—(1) whether the speech concerns lawful activity and is not misleading and (2) whether the asserted governmental interest is substantial; and if so, (3) whether the regulation directly advances the asserted interest and (4) whether it is not more extensive than is necessary to serve the interest—concluding that the statutes, as applied to Edge, did not directly advance the asserted governmental interest. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

Held: The judgment is reversed. 956 F. 2d 263, reversed.

Justice White delivered the opinion of the Court as to all but Part III-D, concluding that the statutes regulate commercial speech in a manner that does not violate the First Amendment. Pp. 426-435, 436. (a) Since the statutes are constitutional under Central Hudson, this Court will not consider the Government's argument that the Court need not proceed with a Central Hudson analysis because gambling implicates

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