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Supreme Court to hear tobacco jurisdiction case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court [official website; JURIST news archive] Friday granted certiorari in four cases [order list, PDF], including one that will determine if tobacco companies are protected from judgments in state courts on the grounds that cigarettes are federally regulated. The appeal, Watson v. Philip Morris, Cos. (05-1284) [docket; cert. petition, PDF], was filed by two Arkansas women who found their state court case against Philip Morris [corporate website] for advertising claims of low tar and nicotine in “light” cigarettes, being removed to federal jurisdiction. Philip Morris argued that the “unprecedented, detailed, and direct control” exerted by the Federal Trade Commission [official website] over cigarette advertising made the company a “person acting under” a federal officer, and convinced [opinion, PDF] the US Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals [official website] that removal on those grounds were justified. AP has more.

In Hinck v. US (06-376) [docket; question presented, PDF], the court will determine the scope of jurisdiction held by the US Tax Court [official website]. In Struhs, et al., v. Wyner (06-531) [docket; question presented, PDF], the justices will examine in what situations attorney fees may be awarded to a victorious party. Finally, the court in Uttecht v. Brown (06-413) [docket; cert. petition, PDF] will examine whether federal courts can overturn a state court decision to remove a juror based on their views on capital punishment. SCOTUSblog has additional coverage.

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