The case presented the question whether a regulation of the New York Public Service Commission violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments because it completely bans promotional advertising by an electrical utility.
The court ruled that a regulation that completely bans an electric utility from advertising to promote the use of electricity violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments.
The court instituted a four-step analysis for commercial speech to the Commission's arguments in support of its ban on promotional advertising:
Is the expression protected by the First Amendment? For speech to come within that provision, it must concern lawful activity and not be misleading.
Is the asserted governmental interest substantial?
Does the regulation directly advance the governmental interest asserted?
Is the regulation more extensive than is necessary to......