Ninth Circuit Denies City of Seattle’s Request to Stay its Mandate Overturning Yellow Pages Ordinance

In another favorable decision yesterday, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously denied the City of Seattle’s request to stay – or delay – the Court’s mandate overturning the city’s phone book law while it seeks U.S. Supreme Court review. The mandate, which will be issued in the next few days, is the formal order from the Court that renders Seattle’s directory delivery ordinance void.

The City has until April 1 to seek review by the Supreme Court.  The Supreme Court only grants approximately 1% of the appeal requests it receives.

We are pleased with the Court’s decision, which further supports its early ruling that print directories are fully protected speech under the First Amendment. This decision protects media from restrictions that hurt local businesses and consumers and unnecessarily cost taxpayer dollars.

Our national consumer choice program, rather than government mandates, is the best approach to ensure consumers can control the delivery of Yellow Pages directories to their homes. We believe it doesn’t make sense to deliver a directory to someone who doesn’t want one. Our national opt-out website at has been available since 2011 at no cost to taxpayers and without the use of government resources.

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