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et al. Posadas de Puerto Rico v. Tourism Company of Puerto Rico

A Two-edged Sword, What Constitutes Commercial Speech?, Initial Ruling And A Constitutional Question?


Posadas de Puerto Rico Associates


Tourism Company of Puerto Rico, et al.

Appellant's Claim

That provisions and implementing regulations of Puerto Rico's Games of Chance Act of 1948 suppressed commercial speech in violation of the First Amendment and the equal protection and due process guarantees of the Constitution.

Chief Lawyer for Appellant

Maria Millagros Soto

Chief Lawyer for Appellees

Lino J. Saldana

Justices for the Court

Warren E. Burger, Sandra Day O'Connor, Lewis F. Powell, Jr., William H. Rehnquist (writing for the Court), Byron R. White

Justices Dissenting

Harry A. Blackmun, William J. Brennan, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, John Paul Stevens


Washington, D.C.

Date of Decision

1 July 1986


Affirmed the decisions of the Puerto Rico Superior Court and the Puerto Rico Supreme Court that the act was constitutional.


The ruling continued a trend of the Court to allow the state greater latitude in the regulation of commercial speech related to activities deemed to be potentially harmful, such as smoking, consumption of alcohol, and gambling.

Related Cases

  • Virginia Pharmacy Board v. Virginia Citizens Consumer Council, Inc., 425 U.S. 748 (1976).
  • Carey v. Population Services International, 431 U.S. 678 (1977).
  • Central Hudson Gas and Electric Corp. v. Public Service Commission of New York, 447 U.S. 557 (1980).
  • Zauderer v. Office of Disciplinary Counsel, 471 U.S. 626 (1985).
  • Renton v. Playtime Theaters, 475 U.S. 41 (1986).

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1981 to 1988