Someone has finally published a competent legal analysis of the recent lawsuits filed against fast-food restaurants, and it’s not a glowing review. On Friday, George Mason University law professor Michael I. Krauss wrote in a Washington Legal Foundation Legal Backgrounder that “tort suits against Big Fat (and, presumably soon, against Big Cheese and Big Butter) are but the latest round in the trial bar’s ‘blame the inanimate object’ game.”

But Krauss also argues that these lawsuits are more than just a colossal money-grab. “This is serious business,” Krauss warns. “This is the business of transforming tort law” into “a technique of public policy on the same level as taxation or regulation.”

Ambulance-chaser extraordinaire John Bahnzaf, says Krauss, “has admitted as much on many occasions. He would prefer to tax to death products he does not like, but those pesky elected legislators just refuse to enact the taxes he and other gurus know the people need to protect them from temptation. So they use litigation, before unelected and non-responsible judges, to obtain what we can’t get using the proper constitutional techniques.”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Banzhaf and other backers of lawsuits against restaurants, Krauss adds, hope “to leverage them to obtain tax and police action against fast foods.”