Still No Word on Whether Supreme Court Will Hear Nike Case

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Contrary to expectations, the U.S. Supreme Court did not announce on Monday, December 16, whether it will hear Nike v. Kasky. The case did not appear on the day's order list, and now it is expected that the Supreme Court will announce its decision on or after January 13.

This past October, Nike filed a petition asking the U.S. Supreme Court to review a California Supreme Court decision holding that Nike engaged in false advertising by launching a public relations campaign to debate charges levied against it regarding its labor practices in Asia. The California court's decision was issued after Marc Kasky, a California-based environmental activist, charged the sports apparel giant with violating the Business and Professions Code of California Law.

A group of prominent media and free expression organizations, including the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression (ABFFE), filed an amicus brief in mid-November in support of Nike, arguing that the case has serious First Amendment implications. The groups contend that the California court's decision makes false statements punishable whenever a company spokesman is speaking to a reporter and or even when writing letters to the editor. Moreover, Kasky is not claiming that Nike lied, but that the company issued misstatements, raising the possibility that a company can be punished even for statements that it makes in good faith, but turn out to be false.

The groups that filed the amicus brief are: ABC, Inc.; ABFFE; the Association of American Publishers; Belo Corporation; Bloomberg L.P.; California First Amendment Coalition; California Newspaper Publishers Association; CBS Broadcasting, Inc.; Cable News Network; Copley Press, Inc.; Forbes, Inc.; Fox Entertainment Group, Inc.; Hearst Corporation; Magazine Publishers of America, Inc.; McClatchy Company; National Association of Broadcasters; National Broadcasting Company, Inc.; New York Times Company; Newspaper Association of America; Newsweek, Inc.; PR Newswire Association; Reed Elsevier, Inc.; Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press; Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law at the University of Minnesota; Society of Professional Journalists; SRIMedia; TIME Inc.; Tribune Company; and Washington Post Company.

For more on Nike v. Kasky, click here.