Multistate Bar Exam Questions
A city enacted an ordinance banning
from its public
all machines dispensing publications consisting wholly of commercial
advertisements. The ordinance was enacted because of a concern about
the adverse aesthetic effects of litter from publications distributed
on the public sidewalks and streets. However, the city continued to
allow machines dispensing other types of publications on the public
sidewalks. As a result of the city’s ordinance, 30 of the 300 sidewalk
machines that were dispensing publications in the city were removed.
Is the city’s ordinance constitutional?
(A) Yes, because regulations of commercial speech are subject only to
the requirement that they be rationally related to a legitimate state
goal, and that requirement is satisfied here.
(B) Yes, because the city has a compelling interest in protecting the
aesthetics of its sidewalks and streets, and such a ban is necessary to
vindicate this interest.
(C) No, because it does not constitute the least restrictive means with
which to protect the aesthetics of the city’s sidewalks and streets.
(D) No, because there is not a reasonable fit between the legitimate
interest of the city in preserving the aesthetics of its sidewalks and
streets and the means it chose to advance that interest.
A state legislature received complaints from accident victims who, in
the days immediately following their accidents, had received unwelcome
and occasionally misleading telephone calls on behalf of medical care
providers. The callers warned of the risks of not obtaining prompt
medical evaluation to detect injuries resulting from accidents and
offered free examinations to determine whether the victims had suffered
any injuries. In response to these complaints, the legislature enacted
a law prohibiting medical care providers from soliciting any accident
victim by telephone within 30 days of his or her accident.
Which of the following is the most useful argument for the state to use
in defending the constitutionality of the law?
(A) Because the commercial speech that is the subject of this law
includes some speech that is misleading, the First Amendment does not
limit the power of the state to regulate that speech.
(B) Because the law regulates only commercial speech, the state need
only demonstrate that the restriction is rationally related to
achieving the state’s legitimate interests in protecting the privacy of
accident victims and in regulating the medical profession.
(C) The state has substantial interests in protecting the privacy of
accident victims and in regulating the practice of medical care
providers, and the law is narrowly tailored to achieve the state’s
(D) The law is a reasonable time, place, and manner regulation.