U.S. District Judge Jack B. Weinstein appears to be trying to put an end to the tobacco wars — a quest at which 50 state attorneys general, countless private lawyers and the U.S. Congress have failed.

Writing that “the time for bringing a close to tobacco litigation is nigh,” the Brooklyn, N.Y., federal judge Tuesday ordered eight federal tobacco cases in his court consolidated for purposes of settlement discussions. The order suggests he hopes to go much further than those eight cases.

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