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GREATER NEW ORLEANS BROADCASTING ASSN., INC.V. UNITED STATES (98-387) 527 U.S. 173 (1999)
149 F.3d 334, reversed.
Syllabus
 
Opinion
[ Stevens ]
Concurrence
[ Rehnquist ]
Concurrence
[ Thomas ]
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Rehnquist, C. J., concurring

SUPREME COURT OF THE UNITED STATES


No. 98—387

GREATER NEW ORLEANS BROADCASTING ASSOCIATION, INC., etc., et al., PETI-
TIONERS v. UNITED STATES et al.

ON WRIT OF CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT

[June 14, 1999]

    Chief Justice Rehnquist, concurring.

    Title 18 U.S.C. § 1304 regulates broadcast advertising of lotteries and casino gambling. I agree with the Court that “[t]he operation of §1304 and its attendant regulatory regime is so pierced by exemptions and inconsistencies,” ante, at 16, that it violates the First Amendment. But, as the Court observes:

“There surely are practical and non-speech-related forms of regulation–including a prohibition or supervision of gambling on credit; limitations on the use of cash machines on casino premises; controls on admissions; pot or betting limits; location restrictions; and licensing requirements–that could more directly and effectively alleviate some of the social costs of casino gambling.” Ante, at 18.

Were Congress to undertake substantive regulation of the gambling industry, rather than simply the manner in which it may broadcast advertisements, “exemptions and inconsistencies” such as those in §1304 might well prove constitutionally tolerable. “The problem of legislative classification is a perennial one, admitting of no doctrinaire definition. Evils in the same field may be of different dimensions and proportions, requiring different remedies. Or so the legislature may think. Or the reform may take one step at a time, addressing itself to the phase of the problem which seems most acute to the legislative mind. The legislature may select one phase of one field and apply a remedy there, neglecting the others.” Williamson v. Lee Optical of Okla., Inc., 348 U.S. 483, 489 (1955) (citations omitted).

    But when Congress regulates commercial speech, the Central Hudson test imposes a more demanding standard of review. I agree with the Court that that standard has not been met here and I join its opinion.