The liberal portion of the Supreme Court says that average jerks can sue cigarette companies for fraudulently marketing their light cigarettes—which kill you—as safe. Conservatives say no, just shut up and die. Really!
The court split 5-4, as is its usual custom, between the libs and the conservs. The swing vote this time kindly went against the evil tobacco company. Altria's failed argument was, hey, we have federal laws, so nobody in the states can sue us! The Bush administration loves this idea of lawsuit "pre-emption":
The Bush administration has made a concerted effort across agencies to incorporate pre-emption. Language in nearly 60 regulations since 2006 has protected, among others, auto manufacturers and the railroad industry form suits involving safety issues. New regulations address motorcycle brakes, sun lotion, the crashworthiness of railroad cars and number of seatbelts required in certain automobiles.
It's the little things that make Bush such a lovable figure. So now you can finally, maybe, get a bit of class action money to pay your lung cancer surgery bills if you were foolish enough to believe that light Marlboros are the medical equivalent of Diet Coke. The business community's objection, via the Chamber of Commerce:
Robin Conrad, executive vice president of the chamber's litigation arm, said the decision "doesn't provide the kind of predictability that the business community has been looking for."