TortsProf Blog

Editor: Christopher J. Robinette
Widener Commonwealth Law School

Tuesday, October 3, 2006

Light Cigarettes - Views

The Consumer Law & Policy Blog calls it "the opposite of radical":

It’s a sad thing indeed when a court is labeled radical when it merely applies the law without any bias except a commitment to the operation of the rule of law. But after years of pro-business appointments to the federal bench and massive infusions of business money to elect their own state judges, this is what we get all too often. It’s refreshing to see a judge who is determined to do nothing but to apply the law. Let’s hope it strikes fear into the hearts of all marketers, who have grown lazy and fat of late, in the absence of any effective control by the federal government on their excesses (but that’s another article).

The LAT calls it "wacky":

Private litigation is a poor excuse for enlightened legislation. If elected representatives are unwilling to do more than they have done already to discourage smoking, federal courts shouldn't be expected to pick up the slack — especially on the basis of "elegant" theories like this one.

Reason sympathizes with the defendants:

If the health advantages of light cigarettes are a myth, it's a myth the federal government propagated and maintained. The government did not merely allow the tobacco companies to advertise the official tar and nicotine "yields" of their various brands; it required them to do so. The tobacco companies certainly took advantage of this requirement, competing against each other to produce the lowest yields, but that was precisely what the government expected and wanted to happen, in the hope that smokers would switch to less dangerous brands.

And Point of Law questions casuation (see also here):

Wait a second -- if they hadn't smoked the lo-tar cigs, what would they have done? Smoked hi-tar brands? Do the latter cost less? My feeble, insensitive mind doesn't quite grasp the logic of this latest tobacco suit.

MDLs and Class Actions, Products Liability | Permalink

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Regarding the first quote: Does "applying the law without any bias except a commitment to the operation of the rule of law" not also apply to FRCP 23?

Procedural law is also, um, "law" and should be respected by judges.

Posted by: KipEsquire | Oct 3, 2006 10:39:48 AM

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