The Supreme Court dismissed an appeal Thursday brought by Nike ( NKE) in a lawsuit alleging that its public defense of overseas labor practices violated a California false advertising law. Nike challenged a 4-3 ruling by the California's Supreme Court, which said that a company's public statements about its operations must be treated as run-of-the-mill commercial speech with limited constitutional protection. The Supreme Court's dismissal of the appeal will send the case back to the California court system where the sneaker giant is expected to face trial. The lawsuit, brought by Marc Kasky, a social activist, alleges that Nike lied about how it treated overseas workers in a public relations campaign. Nike argues that it is protected from false advertising laws in this instance by the First Amendment. Justice John Paul Stevens issued an explanation supporting the high court's refusal to review the case. He argued that issuing an opinion would result in "the premature adjudication of novel constitutional questions" that would "apply with special force to this case." Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and David Souter signed Stevens' explanation. Justices Stephen Breyer, Sandra Day O'Connor and Anthony Kennedy disagreed. The three remaining justices did not offer any written opinion. In their dissent, Justices Breyer and O'Connor stated, "The questions presented directly concern the freedom of Americans to speak about public matters in public debate, no jurisdictional rule prevents us from deciding these questions now, and delay itself may inhibit the exercise of constitutionally protected rights of free speech." Nike appealed to the Supreme Court after the California Supreme Court allowed the lawsuit against the company to move ahead and ruled it might face liability for statements it made during the course of the public-relations campaign. The lawsuit against Nike stems from a long-running debate about the company's labor practices abroad. For years, it has been involved in a public battle with social and labor activists over allegations some of its products were made in sweatshop conditions in Asia. Nike employs around 500,000 workers in 51 countries. On Thursday, its stock was up 0.5%, or 3 cents, to $56.93.