Mar 3, 2012

VOA Special English News 95

A federal judge in the United States says a requirement that cigarette packages have large warning signs is unconstitutional. District Judge Richard Leon said the government rule violates the First Amendment right to free speech. The warnings were to have filled about half of the label on the package. They were to include color pictures of cancerous lungs and a dead body. The judge said pictures were not designed to increase the knowledge of the risks of smoking but to cause people to react with strong emotions. He said the government has many other ways to warn people about smoking without violating the Constitution. The government can appeal the ruling.

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kinokage (木の陰) said...

bikenglishさん, よろしければ、a few suggestions:

A federal judge
(The reader "swallows" the first word.)

(second "r")

First Amendment
(Amendments to the Constitution are capitalized.)

the warnings were to have filled
(This grammar sounds strange and unnecessary to me, and doesn't match the grammar in the next sentence, but I think that's what he's saying.)

half of the label
(article "the")

were not designed
(past tense)

and a dead body
(article "a")

about half of the label
(article "the")

increase the knowledge of the risks
(Article "the". 本当は that first "the" sounds strange to me.)

without violating the Constitution
(article "the". As with constitutional amendments, the Constitution itself takes an initial capital letter.)

appeal the ruling
(In legal terminology, "ruling" rather than "rule".)

面白いですね。How/whether the First Amendment right to free speech applies to corporations (such as cigarette producers) has been a "hot-button issue" here in the US since (in 2010) the Supreme Court ruled that corporations could make unlimited contributions to politcal action committees and thus (indirectly) to political candidates. Very controversial!

bikenglish said...


Thank you for good information about the ruling in the United States.

It is interest that the right to freedom of speech has been applied for corporation's activities.