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The Supreme Court’s long-awaited oral argument in the “Big Tobacco” punitive damages case appeared to fizzle on Tuesday, with several justices hinting that they’d like to kick the case back to the Oregon Supreme Court for clarification.

Instead of delving deeply into the contentious debate over the constitutionality of high punitive damages in the context of tobacco litigation, the justices seemed troubled over more technical matters during hourlong arguments in Philip Morris USA v. Williams.

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