compelled speech, disclosure, environment


Compelled commercial disclosures have been an increasingly hot topic over the last few years, as illustrated by the GMO labeling controversy, finally enacted into law in August 2016. Typically, judicial challenges to such disclosure represent a clash between two distinct interests: the consumers’ “right to know” against companies’ freedom of speech under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Establishing a clear test to analyze the constitutionality of compelled commercial disclosures has proven difficult because of the Supreme Court’s confusing jurisprudence with regard to this issue.

This article aims at promoting two ideas. First, it seeks to refine the concept of a consumer’s “right to know.” Second, it argues that courts should scrutinize the constitutionality of compelled commercial disclosures under a “rational basis” type of test, thus clarifying the current confusing jurisprudence on the issue.