The purpose of this assignment is to
apply the information learned about commercial free speech rights.
Answer the following questions
using the information from readings, videos, and slide sets. No outside information is required to successfully
answer the questions; however, if you use outside information, use proper
citations in AMA formatting.
The following questions are based
on a hypothetical scenario. They may be
based on real-world events but are not actions currently being undertaken by
any individual or groups of individuals.
When writing your responses, be
objective. Do not argue for one side or
another. For each situation, remember to
clearly state the issue, the standard being used, and a complete analysis of
the issue. Finally, exact words are
important. Do not create your own terms or interchange terms between standards.
Starbirds Coffee is an international
corporation that sells coffee in the U.S. and other countries. They obtain their coffee beans from several
tropical and sub-tropical countries around the world. These countries often have very loose
regulations to encourage companies to expand their operations.
After an extensive investigation by
several journalists, Starbirds Coffee has been accused of exploiting rural
coffee farmers around the world, promoting the use of dangerous pesticides that
harm the farmers and may contaminate the coffee, and of using unfair marketing
practices to drive up market share in college towns.
An advocacy group, “Caffeine Advocates
for Fair Information, Networking and Empowerment” (CAFINE), has started a
campaign against Starbirds that accuses the company of these infractions as
well as unfair labor practices and despoiling the environment in seven Latin American
1) Starbirds fights back with full-page
newspaper ads describing their fair-trade policies, claiming that all their
coffee is grown in compliance with local environmental laws, and including
testimonials supposedly from farmers who they work with. Are these ads commercial speech? Why?
2) In response to the investigation, a
state legislature passes a law requiring Starbirds and other coffee importers
to disclose all chemicals used in the growing and packaging of
coffee. Is this law constitutional? Why
or why not?
3) After several decades of study,
researchers conclude that coffee is a major contributor to reckless driving by
teenagers. The story was mentioned in
numerous news broadcasts and has gone viral online. In response, a state legislature passed a law
that prohibits purchases of coffee by teenagers and prohibits coffee sellers
from creating advertisements that target teens.
Is the law prohibiting advertisements that target teens constitutional? Why or why not?