Wednesday, September 12, 2012

First Amendment Overcomes San Francisco Health Scare Ordinance, Again

On September 10, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld an federal trial court's injunction against the City of San Francisco for its controversial ordinance regarding the health effects of cell phones. The ordinance would require retailers of wireless devices to issue city-written warnings to consumers about exposure to radio-frequency (RF) emissions. The required warnings include information telling consumers what to do if they want to reduce their exposure to RF emissions. 

As I wrote in a November 2011 blog post, the U.S. District Court ruled that the ordinance was almost entirely unconstitutional under the First Amendment. But the 9th Circuit's brief order appears to suggest that the ordinance's constitutional problems were more pervasive than even the District Court had acknowledged. 
Perhaps the City of San Francisco will finally take the First Amendment seriously and back down from forcing wireless merchants to issue misleading messages.  
(For additional background info, see my July 2011 blog post.)