Climate change threatens nearly every corner of human life and may structurally change the global financial system. Investors increasingly demand information about how climate change may impact their investments. In response, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued a proposed rule that would require registered companies to disclose certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports. But some critics argue that this proposed rule is unconstitutional under the Supreme Court’s current doctrine on compelled and commercial speech.
This doctrine misunderstands the First Amendment. When corporations engage in speech that possesses commercial and non-commercial characteristics, the Court’s binary, categorical conception of the compelled speech doctrine divorces from the constitutional values that the First Amendment protects. This paper identifies those values, analyzes the Court’s current doctrine through the lens of compelled climate speech, and proposes an alternative doctrine that better understands of corporations, the natural persons with whom they interact, and the constitutional rights shaped by those interactions.
Compelled Climate Speech,
U. Pa. J. Const. L. Online
Available at: https://scholarship.law.upenn.edu/jcl_online/vol25/iss1/3