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Tobacco Racketeering Case Could Reach Supreme Court

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A case in which the tobacco industry was found to have violated federal racketeering laws could be headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, Dow Jones reported July 31.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals upheld the 2006 decision by a trial judge that the tobacco industry conspired to hide the health effects of smoking from consumers; the panel also upheld restrictions imposed on tobacco marketing. However, the appeals panel, which ruled unanimously, rejected the Justice Department's call for steep monetary penalties against tobacco companies.

The tobacco industry has requested that the full appeals court review the decision, but the Justice Department has made no such request, and experts say that the chances for a full review are slim. That could mean the next stop for the litigation is a request for review by the U.S. Supreme Court.

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