December 26, 2011 -- Professor Eugene Volokh commented on the crackdown on airlines that publish misleading prices in a New York Times article.
Eugene Volokh, a law professor at the University of California, Los Angeles, said that although the practice of advertising prices without taxes was “utterly routine,” he did not believe the court would find that the government’s new rule violated the First Amendment.
“To the extent that this simply requires that the full price be in a more prominent format, it’s very likely constitutional,” he said. “The Supreme Court has said in the context of commercial advertising, the government has a very broad right to mandate speech that is reasonably aimed at preventing people from being misled.”
He also drew a distinction between sales taxes, which are familiar to most people, and aviation taxes, which are more variable and less well known — giving the government grounds for stipulating how these taxes are disclosed.
“I think, therefore, most likely it will be upheld,” Mr. Volokh said.
To read the entire article, click here.
Professor Volokh is also quoted in an Economist blog article on the same topic.