Constitutional Law Amicus Curiae Brief Supporting CEI’s Challenge to the 1998 Tobacco Settlement

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On December 10, 2010, prominent constitutional law experts from opposite ends of the political spectrum submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of CEI's lawsuit against the 1998 tobacco settlement.

As explained in the amicus brief written by Alan Morrison on behalf of himself, Richard Epstein, and Kathleen Sullivan, the law professors "believe that the lower courts in this and other similar cases have not properly understood the meaning of the Compact Clause of Article I, section 10 and have not understood its place in the federalism provisions of the Constitution."

While Morrison, Epstein and Sullivan do not take a position on whether the tobacco Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) being challenged in this case creates a sound public policy, they argue that the MSA is "subject to the Compact Clause and that to allow States and private companies to enter an agreement of this type and with this massive impact, without approval of Congress, threatens to create an imbalance in our federal system."

Moreover, "that imbalance can produce serious harms to both non-participating States and the Federal Government, in addition to the economic harm to competitors of the tobacco companies that are parties to the MSA and to consumers of tobacco products."