BOX 1-1
Legal Terms Used in This Report

Class action. A lawsuit brought on behalf of a group of people with a common interest.

Commercial speech. The exact boundaries are ill defined, but the U.S. Supreme Court has described commercial speech as speech that proposes a lawful commercial transaction and as expression related solely to the economic interests of the speaker and its audience.

Excise tax. A duty or impost levied upon the manufacture, sale, or consumption of commodities.

Expressive conduct. Conduct with a communicative element.

Immaterial. Not relevant and important to a particular case.

Injunction. A court order requiring an individual to do or to stop doing something.

Lawsuit. A court proceeding, generally civil rather than criminal, intended to resolve a dispute between the parties to the proceeding.

Legislation. Law enacted by Congress, a state legislature, or a local legislative body.

Litigation. A lawsuit brought in court.

Material. Relevant and important to a particular case.

Police power. The authority conferred upon the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which the states can delegate to local authorities, to enact measures to preserve and protect the safety, health, welfare, and morals of the community.

Preemption. Refers to the ability of a higher level of government to prohibit certain actions by a lower level of government. The U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause explains that federal law is the supreme law of the land, which means that federal legislation or regulation can preempt state or local law. Likewise, state-level legislation or regulation can preempt local laws.

Public forum. Places, such as streets and parks, that by tradition or government fiat have been devoted to assembly and debate for use by the public.

Regulations. Rules and administrative codes issued by government agencies that have the full force and effect of law.

annual direct health care costs in the United States total $168 billion (Cawley and Meyerhoefer, 2010).

Although legal approaches alone will be insufficient to stem the childhood obesity epidemic, such approaches hold promise for greatly accelerating progress, said Brownell. He cited two examples.

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