United States Ninth Circuit

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Retail Digital Network v. Appelsmith, 13-56069

In an action in which plaintiff challenged, on First Amendment grounds, California Business and Professions Code Section 25503(f)-(h), which forbids manufacturers and wholesalers of alcoholic beverages from giving anything of value to retailers for advertising their alcoholic products, the district court's summary judgment to agency-defendant is reversed where plaintiff, a middleman involved in the advertising industry, had standing to challenge section 25503, because the Supreme Court's opinion in Sorrell v. IMS Health, Inc., 131 S. Ct. 2653 (2011), requires heightened judicial scrutiny of content-based restrictions on non-misleading commercial speech regarding lawful products, rather than the intermediate scrutiny previously applied to section 25503 by the Ninth Circuit in Actmedia, Inc. v. Stroh, 830 F.2d 957 (9th Cir.1986).

Appellate Information

  • Decided
  • Published 2016/01/07




  • United States Ninth Circuit