Nov. 10 2004
Washington, DC — We urge President Bush and his new nominee for Attorney General, Alberto Gonzales, to support aggressive pursuit of the U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit against the tobacco companies. The Justice Department’s tobacco litigation team has been presenting a strong case since the trial opened September 21 that the tobacco companies engaged in a decades-long scheme to defraud the public by marketing to children and concealing the health risks and addictiveness of their products. They deserve the full support of the Administration in completing the case, and U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler should be allowed to decide the case on its merits. The Administration’s goal should be nothing short of fundamental change in the tobacco industry’s harmful practices. The tobacco industry may view the recent election as an opportunity to seek a weak settlement of the lawsuit. The Administration should reject such efforts and ensure that the American people have their day in court against the tobacco industry.