Supreme Court asked to review multistate tobacco deal

by Walter Olson on November 10, 2010

Alas, court challenges have generally failed in the past despite the many seeming constitutional and legal infirmities of 1998’s Great Tobacco Robbery — its taxation-escaping-normal-constraints-on-taxation, its bald imposition of retroactive liability, its state-sponsored cartelization of the cigarette trade, its odoriferous self-dealing and counsel-contract coziness, and so forth. Doubly unfortunately, the courts have adopted an exceedingly narrow interpretation of the Compacts Clause, which on its face you might think would bar states from entering deals with each other of this sort without Congressional approval. Christine Hall of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which filed the new certiorari petition, wonders what the Founders would have thought: “It’s hard to believe they would’ve written the Compact Clause for no reason.” [Open Market]