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According to the libertarian view, which has a strong tradition in the United States, it is acceptable to outlaw drunk driving but not drunkenness itself. Similarly, smoking in indoor public places can be outlawed because the smoke bothers others (although there is still strong resistance in many places), while smoking itself cannot be regulated in adults.

 

The CDC was required to remove from its Website information on “Programs that Work,” five sex education programs for teenagers that had been found effective in scientific studies. Similarly, the CDC replaced information on the effectiveness of condoms in preventing the spread of HIV/AIDS with a document that emphasized condom failure rates and the effectiveness of abstinence. The public health law has become more complex over the years, but it follows the same pattern.

 

At any level of government, a legislature, perceiving a need, passes a statute. The statute may be challenged in court and the decision of the court may be appealed to higher courts. Generally, on issues of constitutionality, a state court may overturn a local law or court decision, and a federal court may overturn a state law or court decision. The legislature, recognizing that it lacks the necessary expertise.