WALL STREET JOURNAL
Thursday, 9/23/99, p. A22
by Robert Bork
[continued from Index page back]
[Provided by Tobacco Daily News Summaries]
Writing in the WALL STREET JOURNAL, Robert Bork, a fellow at the
American Enterprise Institute, criticized the Justice
Department's lawsuit against the tobacco industry as fraudulent
and argues that the "rule of law" will suffer as a result:
federal and the state suits suffer from the same defect, which
ought to be fatal. All of these governments have known for more
than 30 years that smoking creates health risks. Yet with that
knowledge, they all permitted the sale of tobacco products and
profited nicely, indeed enormously, from excise taxes. How can
A tell B he may lawfully sell a product that A knows will cause
injury and then sue B for the injury caused?
Maybe the people
injured could sue B, or A as well, but the one party that should
have no cause of action, no complaint whatever, is A.
case of tobacco, the people who smoked and were harmed should
have no cause of action either. Governmental and private
organizations for decades have been pounding the message that
smoking is deadly; cigarettes even come with an explicit
Smokers are harassed in restaurants and
expelled from their offices to catch pneumonia on the sidewalks.
You cannot be sentient and unaware of the risks of smoking. . .
. Law has been warped for political purposes repeatedly, and
never more so than in this administration.
Is there no judge
who will call this case what it is -- an intellectual sham and a
misuse of the courts to accomplish through litigation what
cannot be won through legislation?"