Statement: Regarding Statement by… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Statement: Regarding Statement by Attorney General Reno About Securing Funding to Continue Federal Tobacco Lawsuit

Statement of William V. Corr, Executive Vice President Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
January 18, 2001

Washington, DC — We are pleased that Attorney General Janet Reno announced at her media availability today that the Department of Justice has obtained the necessary funding to pursue the federal lawsuit against the tobacco industry. It is critical that the federal government continue this lawsuit in order to hold the tobacco industry accountable for decades of deception and wrongdoing that has cost taxpayers billions of dollars. A majority of the House of Representatives last June voted to fund the lawsuit, and efforts last year in the Senate to block the necessary funding failed. In September, a federal judge denied the tobacco companies' motion to dismiss the lawsuit and ruled that it has sufficient merit to move forward under federal racketeering laws.

We call on the incoming Administration to heed these legislative and legal actions in support of the lawsuit, as well as the powerful evidence of tobacco industry wrongdoing, and to continue to pursue the lawsuit. Decisions on this lawsuit should be based on the law and the evidence, not on political considerations. If that is the case, we are confident that the new Administration will decide that the American people deserve to have this case decided on its merits in a court of law.