Appeals Court Ruling on Cigarette Graphic Warnings Sets Up Potential Challenge before US Supreme Court

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia today struck down the FDA graphic warning label requirement, which sets up a potential challenge before the US Supreme Court on this subject. This result is opposite to an earlier ruling from another circuit, thus providing an opening for further appeal to the US Supreme Court. Judge Janice Rogers Brown used strong language in her opinion, saying that the FDA “has not provided a shred of evidence” that the graphic warning labels would actually reduce smoking. Her ruling said that the government lacks the authority to use a manufacturer’s product to display the government’s anti-smoking message, against its own economic interest, and in violation of the first amendment rights of the manufacturers.

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