Saturday, January 13, 2007
Article in the Washington Post -- High Court Adds Death-Penalty And Tobacco Cases to Docket, by Robert Barnes:
The cigarette case, Watson v. Philip Morris (05-1284), comes from Arkansas, where consumers alleged that the company had violated the state's deceptive-advertising law with claims about its "light" cigarettes. Similar class-action lawsuits have been filed around the country.
But Phillip Morris, whose parent company is now known as Altria Group Inc., was successful in having the case transferred to federal courts, saying that its advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, and that made it a "person acting under" a federal officer.
The Bush administration said it disagreed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruling upholding the lower court's decision. Nevertheless, Solicitor General Paul D. Clement had recommended the Supreme Court not take the case, saying it did not warrant the court's review.
Those who sued said the move to federal court denies the right of states to be the primary forum for adjudicating state laws.
Here's a link to the docket for the Watson case in the United States Supreme Court. Murray Garnick of Arnold Porter is representing Philip Morris, and David Frederick of Kellogg Huber is representing Lisa Watson.