A federal appeals court has ruled against the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) challenge regarding the constitutionality of the Master Settlement Agreement (MSA).
The MSA is a 1998 settlement agreement in which tobacco companies agreed to pay 46 states $240 billion to remunerate those states for "tobacco-related" public health costs. The MSA is a major source of funding for anti-tobacco efforts that have arisen since then.
The legality of the MSA is in question due to a prohibition in Article I, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution, also known as "the Compact Clause", of which paragraph three reads:
"No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay."
CEI is now likely to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
A pdf of the court’s decision is at the bottom of the page at the link provided below.