November 7, 2011

Free speech rights prevent government from expressing its anti-smoking message on cigarette packages.

NYT reports:
In a preliminary injunction, Judge Richard J. Leon of United States District Court in Washington ruled that cigarette makers were likely to win a free speech challenge against the proposed labels, which include staged photos of a corpse and of a man breathing smoke out of a tracheotomy hole in his neck.

The judge ruled that the labels were not factual and required the companies to use cigarette packages as billboards for what he described as the government’s “obvious anti-smoking agenda!”...

“It is abundantly clear from viewing these images that the emotional response they were crafted to induce is calculated to provoke the viewer to quit, or never to start, smoking: an objective wholly apart from disseminating purely factual and uncontroversial information,” Judge Leon wrote.
How delightful for the government to be limited in its endless efforts to manipulate our emotions! Stick to the facts?! Why that's so... refreshing!

45 comments:

Coketown said...

I'd love an attorney general with a sense of humor. "Fact: Little children depend on you buying cigarettes for their health insurance. Light up, and feel gooooood about it."

edutcher said...

“It is abundantly clear from viewing these images that the emotional response they were crafted to induce is calculated to provoke the viewer to quit, or never to start, smoking"

And the makers had the free speech rights to rebut that.

Lousy law once again.

themightypuck said...

Two words: district court.

KLDAVIS said...

There's never been a legitimate reason for giving commercial speech second-class status. Hopefully, what started with 44 Liquormart and continued with Citizens United will continue to its logical end.

ironrailsironweights said...

Smoking is a terrific deal for taxpayers. Less smoking = more people living to advanced ages = more Social Security and Medicare spending.

Peter

David said...

Manipulative government messages are a violation of free speech rights?

What will the Feds do if this catches on?

traditionalguy said...

What a radical ruling. If the Feds cannot lie to us, then 90% of the the government is not going to have anything at all to do.

chrisnavin said...

Indeed. Why let the benevolent oversight panel decide when you're going to check out. Let people do it for themselves with Kool.

But all that activity is commerce...commerce I tell you!

Think of this as your tax money is taken away to be spent by other people for yet other people.

It's the only way.

Revenant said...

And the makers had the free speech rights to rebut that. Lousy law once again.

Huh?

The government was forcing the *makers* to advocate against their own product. That's what the free speech issue is.

Titus said...

I am all about Buy A Lick.

Limbaugh is my hero.


All you whores want to buy a lick..

Alex said...

If the product is so harmful to public health, then outlaw it. Otherwise, stay the fuck out.

Pogo said...

"If the product is so harmful to public health, then outlaw it."

Outlaw cars; they kill!
Outlaw rock climbing; it kills!
Outlaw hamburgers; they kill!

Mary Beth said...

Does the government not realize that those photos will make smoking cooler, more daring? Teenagers think that they are immortal, the pictures won't change that.

Chef Mojo said...

If the product is so harmful to public health, then outlaw it. Otherwise, stay the fuck out.

Why outlaw it, if you can regulate it to death? To death? No. To the event horizon between oblivion and the government being able to squeeze more out of a legal product.

Sofa King said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip S. said...

All you whores want to buy a lick..

You're confusing supply with demand.

Anyone else think the guy in that ad had a strange looking paraphiltrum?

Sofa King said...

Obligatory:

Denis Leary: Cigarettes

Carol_Herman said...

When my dad was dying of lung cancer. And, he just had his lung removed. So he was in the hospital. There was another man on the ward who was smoking a cigarette through his tracheotomy hole.

Since I knew this guy was dying, I didn't see anything wrong with that. He had a habit. It seemed stupid, at the end of his life, to take away something he grew to enjoy.

But, yes.

Way back when my dad started smoking. He was 15. And, new to America. He really didn't suspect the health hazards that would come from this.

My mother didn't like that he smoked. (He used to send me to the candy store with a quarter. To buy him a pack of Pall Mall's.)

Then, one day ... I think he was 57. He and my mom went out for a walk. And, she out-paced him!

My mother walked as slow as molasses. And, that's when my dad threw his cigarettes away. Finally.

But two years, or so later, he was diagnosed with lung cancer.

I think the government should get out of the business of threatening tobacco companies. Drug companies. And, beer and alcohol companies. It doesn't help anybody!

Either adults have freedom to choose. Or they don't.

Though it would be funny, if to test this "law" ... someone sued a restaurant because they were prevented from lighting up.

Laws have a way of creating lawsuits.

AlphaLiberal said...

If corporations are people than I want to see the birth certificate.

AlphaLiberal said...

Althouse:

How delightful for the government to be limited in its endless efforts to manipulate our emotions!

You seem to actually believe the government sits around saying to itself, "how can I manipulate their emotions?"

Why do you think this is a priority? Or, um, real?

Isn't the message on the cigarette packages about public health, perfesser?

Not here. In Althousiana it's about manipulating emotions. They just want to make us cry.

Absurd.

Jason said...

Corporations aren't people, Alpha you dumbass. They are associations of people.

Jesus Christ, whenever a libtard talks about corporations the stupid is so thick it could stop a fucking train.

AlphaLiberal said...

Jason, you malignant twit, people want to treat corporations AS people and give them the rights OF people even though they are PROPERTY.

Corporations now have many of the rights of people but fewer of the responsibilities. And far less accountability. For one, they apparently cannot be put to death, even when killing people. They don't do time, they only get weak fines as punishment.

They have the Republicant Party running flack for them, dismantling regulation when while reducing a citizen's right to seek redress from a corporation in court.

Where is the check on balance on corporate power?

AlphaLiberal said...

Do corporations have the right to keep and bear arms? The right not to incriminate themselves? The right to assembly?

If corporations have the right of free speech then why was it necessary to have a freedom of speech spelled out? (Oh no corporations in the Constitution!)

If a corporation starts planning new subsidiary but then, after 7 months, aborts the process, is that a crime? (ha ha)

Carnifex said...

@AlphaLiberal

I think for once we agree. I would like to see the birth certificate too. Until I do may I consider the angry sock monkey a non entity?

Caveat emptor. Learn it, love it. it is NOT the governments job to stop me from having bad habits. Should they regulate eating habits? Opps, they already do that too. Maybe they should have manditory physical requirements? Would they be the same for men and women? For handicapped and non-handicapped? what about the transgendered?

A "morality" law, taken to its logical extreme, leads to absurdity. I don't care to live an absurd life.

Jason said...

Does the New York Times enjoy freedom of the press, under the first amendment, shit-for-brains? Or would congressional Republicans be within their constitutional authority to muzzle it?

How about AOL/HuffPo?

You moron... corporations aren't people. They are, however, "persons," which means something specific under the law. But you're so willfully bone-ignorant that the distinction will be forever lost on you.

Jose_K said...

If corporations are people than I want to see the birth certificate
How do you call the incorporation document?

Jose_K said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jose_K said...

Frazier, RIP. Ali was robbed in the first fight. The knockdown meant one round 10-8. He won the rest

Phil 3:14 said...

" Does the government not realize that those photos will make smoking cooler, more daring? Teenagers think that they are immortal, the pictures won't change that."

Kool, preferred by zombies two to one

ndspinelli said...

I have a collection of old Sport magazines from the 1950's. There are numerous ads w/ Hall of Fame athletes "banging heaters." We have certainly come a long way. However, the govt. is looking for a knockout that is unattainable. And, they're using tactics that besmirch themselves.

Speaking of knockouts, the great heavyweight champ, Joe Frazier died. he lived in the shadows of Ali. He was taunted by Ali in a dehumanizing way. The more I learned about these two great boxers the more I liked Joe and disliked Ali. The superb HBO doc, The Thriller in Manila, tells the story well.

purplepenquin said...

Lies and deception have been a part of the War on Drugs ever since it first started. "Tobacco Madness" ain't much different than "Reefer Madness"...

ndspinelli said...

Jose K, It was a unanimous decision. I watched the fight on close circuit in an old theatre in Pa. when I was in college. Believe me, if the judges could have given Ali the decision they would have. Split decisions can sometimes be a boxer "getting robbed." Not unanimous decisions. Don't try to rewrite history and take away Joe's greatest victory the day he dies. Do you know anything about boxing? Do you have a heart or soul?

ndspinelli said...

Penquin, This is twice in a week or so that I agree w/ you. Has Jupiter aligned w/ Mars?

lyssalovelyredhead said...

For one, they apparently cannot be put to death, even when killing people.

Yes they can; it's called administrative dissolution, and states do it all of the time. Jeeze, how does a person not know that?

Also, where does the first amendment say that free speech is only limited to "people"?

kcom said...

"If corporations are people than I want to see the birth certificate."

You're really not that stupid, are you?

prairie wind said...

How many mutual funds or pension funds own shares in tobacco companies? I'd bet most. Destroying the tobacco companies is just another way to diminish our savings for retirement.

kcom said...

I don't have to ever buy a frickin' cigarette. That's the control on the corporation. Now tell me where I can go to get the busybodies from the government out of my face. If the future of government is Michael Bloomberg, we need to get out the tar and feathers, and perhaps the rope. Public health means protecting you from going to a restaurant that's serving salmonella a la king, i.e. protecting you from someone else's negligence. When the government somehow thinks it's got not just the right, but the responsibility, to micromanage everything you eat and everything you do, for your own good, then something has gone terribly off the rails in the Land of the Free. I never elected them to be my mommy.

Seeing Red said...

I think it will just desensitize the citizens even more.

edwardroyce said...

What I find most amusing is that many of the same people violently opposed to smoking -tobacco- are in favor of smoking -pot-.

You can't make up stuff like this.

Doc Holliday's Bastard said...

Does this mean someone can now take down Bloomberg's quasi-nanny state (real nannies at least protect their wards from hooligans)? Recent studies have shown salt may not be linked to heart disease after all, http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=143958 and other studies show that putting calorie counts on food doesn't change eating habits AND calories in - calories out isn't nearly as stable a guideline for maintaining weight as previously thought.

Hagar said...

How about the "enumerated powers" thingy that was so important to Jemmy Madison?

KLDAVIS said...

Those demanding we take away the "personhood" of corporations (which would include the Unions, if the law was enforced equally, yeah right) are the same ones insisting that they pay their fair share of income taxes.

How the hell does charging income tax to a piece of property work, Alpha?

Caffeinated said...

I wonder if @alphaliberal thinks it's okay for the government to promote smoking... you know like the glorious USSR? "Smoke Cigarettes!" http://bit.ly/cccpsmoke

wv: butee

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