When Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor was asked about a new bill in Colorado requiring doctors to dispense tobacco-containing products such as chewing tobacco, Sotomaysaid it would be a violation of the constitution.
The Colorado legislation, the so-called “Eli Lilly & Co. Act,” would be unconstitutional because it violates the First Amendment, Sominayor said.
The Colorado law is “unconstitutional because it infringes on the fundamental right of health care practitioners to make the most informed decisions,” Sotomakysaid.
The bill is expected to become law in 2019.
“There is no constitutional right to smoke, but there is a constitutional right not to smoke,” Sominaysaid.
“And this is the reason why there is no Constitutional right not be a licensed tobacco dealer.
It’s a fundamental right to make informed decisions that affect the health of all of us.
I don’t know of a single other constitutional right that is more important than this.”
Sotomayors opinion comes just a few months after the Supreme Judicial Court upheld the constitutionality of the federal tobacco ban.
Somayor is one of three justices who voted in support of a federal law last year that imposed strict restrictions on smoking.
In the Supreme court opinion, the justices wrote that the ban violated the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures.