Profanity, Tobacco Cases Top Court's New Term

Judges to decide on consumers' right to sue drug, tobacco companies
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Oct 6, 2008 8:07 AM CDT
Light cigarettes falsely claim they are less dangerous than regular ones, but the promotion was federally approved.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton)
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(Newser) – The Supreme Court and its Bush-era conservative additions launch a second term today, set to consider "pre-emption" cases that determine whether federal regulation makes drug and tobacco companies immune from state-level lawsuits. Other cases will determine penalties against profanity on radio or TV, a major sexual harassment question, and whether religious groups can erect public monuments, reports NPR.  

Business gained major victories in the last term. Now, a drug company is claiming immunity in a lawsuit for an incomplete warning label because it says the FDA—which sides with the firm—had already approved the label. Tobacco companies similarly argue they can’t be sued for false ads that say light cigarettes are safer than regulars because that promotion was federally approved.