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Constitutional Rights & the Public’s Health

Bongo Productions, LLC, et al. v. Lawrence, et al.


Bongo Productions, LLC, et al. v. Lawrence, et al. (U.S. District Court, M.D. Tenn., May 17, 2022): A federal judge struck, as unconstitutional compelled speech, a Tennessee law requiring businesses that allow transgender people to use the public restroom that matches their gender to post warning signs. A law that compels specific speech must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest, satisfying the strict scrutiny standard, though compelled speech that is commercial and purely factual is subject to a lower standard. The court rejected the State’s argument that the warning signs are purely factual commercial communications instead finding the warning to contain “contestable ideological premises that [the plaintiffs] find highly objectionable” on a controversial subject. Applying the strict scrutiny standard, the court found that the State fell far short of articulating a compelling—or even a rational—basis. Read the full decision here.

View all cases in the Judicial Trends in Public Health – June 15, 2022.

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