Seattle Ruling Brings an End to San Francisco Phone Book Ban

We expected the recent court ruling on the Seattle opt out ordinance to have an impact beyond its immediate scope. And now it has. San Francisco Board of Supervisors President David Chiu introduced an ordinance Tuesday that would suspend the city’s opt-in program (already on hold since May due to a pending lawsuit). The San Francisco ordinance was the most restrictive phone book measure passed to date by a major city.

Last week, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Seattle’s somewhat milder opt out ordinance based on First Amendment grounds. Chiu and other opt-in supporters apparently realized that with the Ninth Circuit ruling, the San Francisco ordinance was unlikely to survive its legal challenge.

According to an article in SF Gate, Chiu says the decision to suspend is pending further appellate action on the Seattle case. It is unclear whether the city of Seattle will appeal the recent decision.

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