From Joel M. Moskowitz, Electromagnetic Radiation Safety, Jan 13, 2018
The CTIA -The Wireless Association has petitioned the United States Supreme Court to hear their case against the City of Berkeley’s cell phone “right to know” ordinance.
The CTIA argues that the ordinance forces cell-phone retailers to deliver a misleading and controversial message to customers. The city asserts that the message is “literally true”; moreover, the city has a legitimate interest in protecting the health of its residents.
Berkeley’s ordinance which was adopted in May, 2015, has been in effect since March, 2016. The law requires cellphone retailers to provide consumers with the following notification:
“To assure safety, the Federal Government requires that cell phones meet radiofrequency (RF) exposure guidelines. If you carry or use your phone in a pants or shirt pocket or tucked into a bra when the phone is ON and connected to a wireless network, you may exceed the federal guidelines for exposure to RF radiation. Refer to the instructions in your phone or user manual for information about how to use your phone safely.”
The appeals court ruled that government may compel commercial speech, absent any alleged false or deceptive communication, as long as the mandated message is “reasonably related to” any “more than trivial” governmental interest and is “literally true.”
The city prevailed in the federal district court and in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. In October of last year, the appeal courts denied the CTIA’s request for a hearing before the full court.
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