Yesterday, there was a landmark ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court dismissed a lower court's ruling that would have cost tobbacco maker
Phillip-Morris over $10 Billion for misleading smokers that they were safer smoking "light" versus regular or unfiltered. The Illinois Supreme
Court ruled that the state did not have rights to sue since the Federal Trade Commission had authorized cigarette makers to characterize their
products as Light or Low Tar. Now it comes to light that the judge who cast the deciding vote recieved campaign funds of $16800 from the law firm
representing the tobacco companies and another $1.2 million from a group that files the amicus brief that supported the cigarette makers. Judge Judge
Lloyd Karmeier niether recused himself nor did anyone suggest to him that he should since there it is easy to come to the conclusion that money can
and does influence how justice is dealt.
Lawyers for Philip Morris USA contributed $16,800 to help elect a judge who cast a deciding vote in Thursday's Illinois Supreme Court decision
favoring the tobacco giant.
The judge also received $1.2 million in campaign money from a group that filed an amicus brief supporting the cigarette-maker.
Yet no one suggested that Judge Lloyd Karmeier recuse himself from a closely watched case in which he voted with three others to strike down a $10.1
billion judgment, handing a huge victory to Philip Morris.
For better or worse, in states where judges are elected, they inevitably decide cases in which their deep-pocketed campaign donors have important
interests. The Philip Morris case, the biggest verdict in Illinois history, underscores the stakes.
Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
The following is a list of the law firms that represented the tobacco giant and how much they contributed to Karmeier's campaign funds:
Three law firms that represented Philip Morris were campaign donors: Winston & Strawn LLP contributed $10,000, according to state Board of Elections
records. Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP donated $5,000, and Burroughs, Hepler, Broom, MacDonald, Herbrank & True LLP contributed $1,800.
The Illinois Chamber of Commerce, which also filed an amicus brief in support of Philip Morris, contributed $269,338, according to the Illinois
Campaign for Political Reform.
This is another strong case that demonstrates very well that money does buy you justice in America. It also shows how the Supreme Court, in this case,
the Supreme Court of Illinois does not support the American citizen. The Supreme Court supports big buisness and the goverment and the consumer
If anyone reviews the tobacco ads of the 70's, 80's 90's and yes even in the new Millenium, these ads are a clear cut case of false advertising as
the ads promote the "light" and Low-tar" cigarettes as being less dangerous than regular cigarettes. The marketing of the Light or Low-Tar
cigarettes were a marketing ploy to win back smokers who were starting to become more health-conscious and were starting to quit the habit. By
marketing these low-tar light cigarettes as a healthier alternative to regular cigarettes leading the American consumer to falsely believe that these
brands of tobacco products were healthier for them and thus would not have to quit.
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[edit on 12-16-2005 by Valhall]