The Corner

Law & the Courts

The Johnson & Johnson Decision

I hadn’t realized just how shoddy it was until I read Jacob Sullum:

Ruling against Johnson & Johnson on Monday, Cleveland County District Court Judge Thad Balkman claimed the “current stage of the Opioid Crisis . . . still primarily involves prescription opioids.” According to records collected by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), however, pain pills were involved in just 30 percent of opioid-related deaths in 2017. Most of those cases also involved other drugs, mainly heroin and illicit fentanyl or fentanyl analogs, which were implicated in three-quarters of opioid-related deaths.

Balkman likewise seems to have accepted at face value Oklahoma’s assertion that “opioids are highly addictive.” The evidence also contradicts that claim . . .

But a lot of officials aren’t looking at the evidence.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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