State tobacco bonds begin to wobble

by Walter Olson on May 8, 2012

And Michael Greve is cheering for the wheels to come off [Law and Liberty] I devoted a chapter of The Rule of Lawyers to the states’ Great Tobacco Robbery, which you can also read about here. More: Coyote (“We changed our mind. Please go smoke.”)

{ 1 comment }

1 Thomas Kohlman 05.14.12 at 5:46 pm


I think I have commented on this topic before. “Big tobacco”‘s role in the MSA “conspiracy” is greatly overstated when you step back in time…they were “scared” and the political climate at the time was such that they had reason to be. While the law was on their side (I think), as I recall they knew that one or two states would prevail (Oregon comes to mind…they thumbed their nose at the SCOTUS twice on the Williams case). So they entered into the MSA.

The result is what it was…48 states knew they would ultimately lose yet needed to show that they “won” so they agreed to the MSA…pretty much a new excise tax on future use meant to compensate for past behavior. From the industry’s POV, they got those states to sign on as “insurance” that the other 2 would go along and it was stuctured to look like the industry was “punished”.

I think the only “winners” were the trial lawyers.

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