November 30th, 2011
02:40 AM ET

Obama administration appeals block on new cigarette warnings

The Obama administration appealed Tuesday a federal judge's decision to block a law that would have made tobacco companies include graphic pictures and messages showing the dangers of smoking on cigarette packages.

U.S. District Judge Richard J. Leon made a decision on the law in early November. He cited First Amendment rights against unconstitutionally compelled speech as a factor in his 29-page decision.

"This case poses a constitutional challenge to a bold new tact (sic) by the Congress, and the FDA, in their obvious and continuing efforts to minimize, if not eradicate, tobacco use in the United States," Leon concluded at the time.

He said the tobacco companies had shown: a substantial likelihood of success; that allowing the labeling requirements to proceed would cause them to "suffer irreparable harm"; that "neither the Government, nor the public, will suffer any comparable injury as a result of the relief sought"; and that the public's "interest in the protection of its First Amendment rights against unconstitutionally compelled speech would be furthered."

The 36 proposed images include a man exhaling smoke through a hole in his throat; diseased lungs next to healthy lungs; a mouth bearing what appear to be cancerous lesions; a bare-chested male cadaver with chest staples down his torso.

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Filed under: Justice • U.S.
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Cal

    We've seen for quite some time that there is someone in charge of quite a lot of things who doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone's civil rights and who doesn't mind trampling the Constltution at whim.
    I guess Obama doesn't support civil rights as enumerated in the Constltution. Or whoever they are who's doing this.
    This is one of the milder cases where the Obama Administration has trampled the Constltution. Just another Bush.
    Hey Republicans! Find someone willing to uphold the Constltution and everyone's civil rights and I WILL vote for them!
    I just like asking for impossible things I guess.

    November 30, 2011 at 3:30 am | Report abuse |
  2. Andreas Moser

    I prefer cigars:

    November 30, 2011 at 3:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Cal

      Send them pictures of your cancerous lesions if you have any. They seem to like that sort of thing.

      November 30, 2011 at 4:20 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lanche

    More liberal interference in to our lives. Socialist nannies, can not mind their own business. They are intrusive pos and need to be voted out of office asap.

    November 30, 2011 at 4:59 am | Report abuse |
  4. Lance

    Could president the Obama administration be any more hypocritical? President Obama is a smoker so this really makes no sense to me. News flash to the out of touch dems and repubs in Washington, you are out of touch with society. People who smoke no what they are doing to themselves and it is their choice. It's a waste of money to put crap on the box. I guess that is what they think will get Mr. Obama his self to stop. A joke

    November 30, 2011 at 6:29 am | Report abuse |
  5. JimmySD

    I don't get it.

    Quite a few fools here try to argue that having the graphic images on cigarette packs takes away civil rights and amounts to being a nanny.

    Nobody says that you can't smoke.

    Puff away.

    November 30, 2011 at 6:42 am | Report abuse |
  6. Not having any

    Being forced to look at gore pics violates my rights. Gore pics are gross. Even gore pics of healthy organs. Gross stuff.
    If I am not given a choice of pictures, including no pictures, then it is violating my rights. It is offensive as hell and I am disgusted they want to shove these gross pictures in my FACE!
    It's like a bunch of rabid anti-choice people shoving gore pics of dead fetuses in my FACE! Get that crap away from me!

    November 30, 2011 at 7:17 am | Report abuse |
  7. Big Game James

    Obama trying to help save lives (it doesn't say they're making you stop smoking.) Still gets ripped. Tells kids to stay in school and concentrate on science/math. Still gets ripped. Obama could find the cure for Cancer, show you a hundred people that got cured get it approved by the FDA and some of you would still be crying socialism/intrusiveness. I'm glad as hell he's going to get one more term!

    November 30, 2011 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. rooney

    I don't think the pictures would bother me that much. I'm more concerned about them trying to outlaw menthol cigarettes. Don't mess with my menthols you jerks!

    November 30, 2011 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. bobcat ( in a hat )

    So let me get this staight. President Obama is in favor of these new ads on cigarette packages to enhance education of their effects. And people are still dogging him. What the hell is this man suppose do ? I can't imagine how people would have reacted if he took the courts side. The people would have been saying, Look at that, now he's trying to kill us by keeping it hush hush. I aplogize for these people Mr. President. Looks like you can't win no matter what you do.

    November 30, 2011 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Paolo

      He keeps doing a half-assed ignorant damn job that's why! What a dumb idea to make a big deal over smoking!
      Why doesn't he make alcohol illegal? It'd be just as dumb as this stuff.
      He is good at talking, but he apparently doesn't know a damn thing about ethics, civil rights, equality under the law, and umpteen other things every president should know!
      All we've gotten from him is lip service and a few small changes that in some cases were changed right back.
      He refuses to stand up for our rights, he refuses to use his executive powers to enforce the Constltution and he is the Chief Executive Officer OF the damn Constltution! He's already violated his oath of office many times and continues to pander to the right and sell the left down the river and if anyone ever shows up with better integrity and ethics, I'll vote for them and do my best to force everyone I know into voting for them!
      But the Republitards can only spit up idiotic liars who just ooze corruption. We need another Dem to run against Obama!

      November 30, 2011 at 11:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. bobcat ( in a hat )

    Good for you Paolo. You sound like a very powerful and influential person. If you can "force" everyone to do your bidding, then you must be one formidable force..

    November 30, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. banasy©

    Agreed, bobcat and Big Game James.

    November 30, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |