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Case Basics
Docket No. 
Wileman Brothers & Elliot
(Argued the cause for the respondent)
(Argued the cause for the petitioner)
Facts of the Case 

In 1937, Congress passed the Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act (AMAA) to promote fair pricing and uniform marketing conditions in the agriculture business. Exempted from antitrust laws, the AMAA mandated uniform prices, product standards, and other conditions; all of which had to be approved by at least two-thirds of the affected producers and implemented by producer committees appointed by the Secretary of Agriculture. The AMAA's administrative expenses were to be covered by assessments imposed on activities such as product advertising and promotion. After suffering adverse rulings at the administrative, District, and Circuit Court levels, a group of California tree fruit growers, handlers, and processors appealed their constitutional challenge of the AMAA to the Supreme Court - which granted certiorari.


Did the AMAA's assessments on product advertising and promotion violate of the First Amendment's freedom of speech protections?

Decision: 5 votes for Glickman, 4 vote(s) against
Legal provision: Amendment 1: Speech, Press, and Assembly

No. Exempting its financial regulations from the heightened review standard appropriate in most First Amendment issues, the Court's 5-to-4 decision held that just because the AMAA's economic regulations may indirectly result in the reduction of the complaining parties' advertising budgets, they did not violate their free speech. The relevant assessments did not force the growers, handlers, or processors to repeat unsuccessful ads, to respond to negative ads when they preferred to remain silent, or to be publicly identified with messages other than their own. All the AMAA required of these parties were contributions for ad campaigns which were ultimately aimed at promoting their own welfare by encouraging customers to buy their products.

Cite this Page
GLICKMAN v. WILEMAN BROTHERS & ELLIOTT. The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law. 26 August 2015. <>.
GLICKMAN v. WILEMAN BROTHERS & ELLIOTT, The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, (last visited August 26, 2015).
"GLICKMAN v. WILEMAN BROTHERS & ELLIOTT," The Oyez Project at IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, accessed August 26, 2015,