Justice Department Appeals Tobacco Ruling

The Kansas City Star reports that the Justice Department is requesting en banc review of the D.C. Circuit ruling which prohibits disgorgement of past profits in civil RICO suits against Big Tobacco(my previous comments here and here). I am mystified as to why the Bush administration is even seeking an appeal. As Anthony Sebok writes,

The chances of the D.C. Circuit allowing an en banc appeal are very slim. The opinions written by Judges Sentelle and Williams are very persuasive and they are very highly respected by their colleagues on the court. The same can be said for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

The only explanation I can see is that the Bush administration is feeding the political witch hunt. Considering the costly nature of this sort of litigation, this political maneuver by the President may come at high price to taxpayers.