Nike v. Kasky

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In Nike, Inc. v. Kasky, 539 U.S. 654 (2003), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court disposed of a difficult case with this unusual resolution:

"The writ of certiorari is dismissed as improvidently granted."

In concurring, Justice John Paul Stevens explained that cert. had been granted to decide:

(1) whether a corporation participating in a public debate may "be subjected to liability for factual inaccuracies on the theory that its statements are 'commercial speech' because they might affect consumers' opinions about the business as a good corporate citizen and thereby affect their purchasing decisions"; and
(2) even assuming the California Supreme Court properly characterized such statements as commercial speech, whether the "First Amendment, as applied to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment, permit[s] subjecting speakers to the legal regime approved by that court in the decision below." Pet. for Cert. i. Today, however, the Court dismisses the writ of certiorari as improvidently granted.

But Justice Stevens supported dismissing the writ of certiorari on three independently sufficient grounds:

(1) the judgment entered by the California Supreme Court was not final within the meaning of 28 USC § 1257 [28 USCS § 1257];
(2) neither party has standing to invoke the jurisdiction of a federal court; and
(3) the reasons for avoiding the premature adjudication of novel constitutional questions apply with special force to this case.