The federal government’s suit against the to tobacco industry is over. Anti-tobacco says the industry made out like bandits while the industry itself mumbles incoherently about moving ahead and being a good corporate citizen.
In reality the big losers are the American people who once again saw their system of justice appropriated as a playpen for wealthy special interest groups. The federal suit should never have been filed and once the Bush administration backtracked from its promise not to continue the suit it inherited from the disgraced Clinton administration it should have been thrown out by the court as an outrage to American jurisprudance.
John Luik continues his sharp post mortem of the federal suit, concentrating this time on the astonishing gullibility of Gladys Kessler, the trial judge who presided over the multi-year suit. Putting it kindly, Gladys Kessler’s strong suit is not science and she certainly is a stranger to logic, as Luik makes clear in this devasting examination of four myths on which the judge based her decision.
Addiction, less hazardous cigarettes, marketing and environmental tobacco smoke make up the quartet of tobacco company sins that Kessler, as it were, threw the book at. She certainly drank deeply from anti-tobacco’s Kool Aid but fortunately Luik is here to demolish succinctly and incisively Kessler’s inept foray into matters that are clearly beyond her ken. Each of his points provide an excellent refutation to the four myths that anti-tobacco has strewn relentlessly upon this country.