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Constitutional Rights and 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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