The Seattle City Attorney's office is asking the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals to reconsider last month's ruling en banc—meaning, with a full panel of judges. Last month, a three-judge panel ruled that phone books are sacred doorstoppers stuffed with free speech protected by First Amendment rights, rather than the unread anchors of commercial ads nobody but your grandmother reads. Using this reasoning, the judges found our 2010 citywide phonebook opt-out program unconstitutional.
In its petition for a retrial, the city argues that “The conclusion that Yellow Pages are not commercial speech is contrary to the long-standing law of the Supreme Court, this Court and sister circuits requiring that hybrid speech be regulated as commercial speech unless the two types of speech are actually ‘inextricably intertwined.’ ”
The city’s petition will be granted if 15 of the 28 active judges of the Ninth Circuit appeals court vote in favor.
My hope is that we're not all dead by the time this case is resolved. RIP.