Judge Says Putting Disgusting Warning Pictures on Cigarette Boxes Is a Violation of Free Speech

Those disgusting images of holey throats, lumpy lungs, broke ass teeth, etc. that the FDA was planning on plastering on cigarettes to curb smoking? Um, it doesn't look like it's going to happen. A federal judge just said those images were a violation of free speech. Wait what?

U.S. District Judge Richard Leon sided with big tobacco and granted a temporary injunction on the images, saying that big tobacco would probably win their lawsuit that claimed the requirement to use those images were a violation of free speech and thus unconstitutional. Leon said the images created by the FDA "provoked an emotional response rather than just providing factual and noncontroversial information, crossing the line into using company advertising for government advocacy."

What's interesting is that Congress was the one who ordered the FDA to come up with some sort of image warning label against smoking. Leon said that even though Congress was pulling the strings, it didn't mean it would "automatically pass constitutional muster".

Judges and courts and rulings are typically boring to me but I feel like this one might be a wee bit more interesting as our Constitution is protecting ourselves from being warned about the consequences of our actions. Or something like that (I kinda wanted to see these pictures in real life too). [Reuters via Consumerist]