25 Nov

6 ways to burn belly fat


Any body ever told you losing weight is easy has probably never tried losing weight or maybe he’s trying to sell you a cheesy product one way or the other. The truth is that losing weight whether by dieting, exercising, surgery and even supplement is a gradual process and requires time, comittment and consistency.

There is nothing wrong in being plump as long as one is comfortable with it. However, if your body mass index indicates you are obese then it may predispose you to some medical condition like infertility, heart disease, diabetes etc then its time for you to lose weight.

Lets get down to business of the day. Almost every day of the week I get questions and emails from my subscribers asking me to give them a step by step plan they can use yo lose weight. The steps that has worked for others and can work for you if adhered to strictly includes:

1. HAVE A PLAN: like almost everything in life, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. If you will ever burn that belly fat then you must have a mapped out plan. Design the process in such away as to fit into your routine activities. Almost 100% of people who use a brutal unrealistic plan to lose weight such as stooling, starvation, extreme exercise etc always gain weight back. This is because it does not fit into any healthy plan. Include in your plan a PRODUCT THAT HELP YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT. Check out this product here.

2. WEIGHT LOSS IS A JOURNEY NOT AN EVENT: While most weight loss products promise unbelievable losses in 3-days and in a week. To feed into our desperation we advocate for a gradual process in losing weight. Research has shown that losing weight drastically can further compromise your health. It is best to condition your mind and take it step by step. Be committed and consistent to each step.

3. ADOPT A HEALTHY LIFE STYLE: In your quest to lose weight, life style modification is key. It is an important way of burning belling fat fast. It is best to eat healthy small meal than to eat one heavy meal. Eat balanced diet, drink plenty of water, eat fruits and vegetables frequently. Stop eating late night night(this deprives you of adequate sleep).

4. BE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT LOSING WEIGHT:there is nothing that is impossible. Possibilities are product of the mind. If you can conceive it then its possible. Have a positive attitude about losing weight and believe that you can do it. The desire to get where you want to be should be enough motivation. When you think about how much you would want to have a beach body then you have to keep pushing on and get that fat diminisher.

5. EXERCISE 3-5 TIMES IN A WEEK: make sure you exercise at least 3 times in a week. You can register at a gym and use their equipments to work out. This might not be possible for people that have a full time job and those that are always busy. What you can do is to exercise at home by following a work out tutorial which you can get here.  You have to combine different forms of cardio and high intensity interval of training such as squats , side bends, jumping jacks, running etc this will help you burn belly fat and lose general body weight.

6. START NOW: many dreams has been shattered because of procrastination. Maintain that desire to lose weight and match it with actions. Don’t wait till tomorrow, don’t wait till after Christmas, don’t wait till you stop all bad habit, don’t wait till you have more money. Each time you wait you prolong your duration of reaching your goals. Get this product to help you burn your belly fat.

24 Nov

Understanding Dieting Rebound – No Surrender Weight Loss

Several years ago I tried a popular diet with PhenQ and lost 22 pounds in six months. Awesome! Friends noticed, clothes fit better, and I felt better. And then, long-story-short, I fell off the diet and gained back the lost pounds plus some. I bounced back from my diet plan to my to my old eating habits.

This type of story is repeated by thousands of well intended dieters over and over again. Now some people go on a crash diet to quickly lose some pounds prior to a special event. Those who crash diet for this reason are not really concerned about the fact that the weight will come back after the event. My concern is for people who are overweight and sincerely want to shed pounds and maintain a more healthy lifestyle.

So, what happens when we go on a diet? We change what and how much we eat. In doing so our body is thrown into a chemical imbalance…on purpose. The initial goal of a diet is to change various chemical actions, such as insulin response, thus adjusting our metabolic rate to, hopefully, burn fat and lose weight. This can be a good thing, particularly reducing the amount of sugar we consume.

One of the reasons for diet rebound is we don’t like the food we have to eat to lose weight. I’m not a real picky eater, but breakfast for the first week on one of the diets I tried included two foods I had never eaten…and still can’t stand today. I had to hold my breath to eat them. It was like taking medicine as a kid. However, it worked. My metabolism changed and I lost weight.

Here’s the lesson learned; if we don’t change the way we eat we can’t expect to lose weight. The good news is if you make it through the the initial metabolism changing process in a diet, foods that are “healthier”, like lean meat, fish, fruits and leafy green vegetables, actually seem to taste better and you enjoy eating them. At least, that was my experience.

That brings us to the one subtle hindrance to new diet success; former food cravings. Your body becomes responsive to your former eating habits and actually builds up a demand or craving for some foods, especially sweets and some breads. In my case, it was breads. I don’t like this analogy, but some believe certain foods become “addictive” and it’s very difficult to give them up. Nevertheless, when you overcome these cravings, and it could take a year or more, your new eating habits can become a long term lifestyle change for a healthier you.

One last thought. We’re told that if we take in fewer calories than we burn we’ll lose weight. This is true in most cases. But, for long term success the “fewer calories” diet should be one of balanced nutrition taking, in moderation, from all the major food groups. A diet from just one or two food groups may not provide long term success in your goal of a healthier lifestyle.

19 Nov

What are the most popular types of SEO services?

Nothing is better than SEO services that are quite similar to the promotion. It is improving the rank of the website in a few days. Three types of SEO services are available such as-

  • White Hat
  • Gray Hat
  • Black Hat

According to Google algorithm, if you want to improve the rank of the website genuinely then white hat would be the ideal option for you. It is really one of the best services. Bear in mind that, it requires time but surely, you will able to enhance the awareness of the brand in a few days. Apart from that, most of the people are making the use of Blackhat that is really dangerous. It will improve the ranking in the fraction of days, but Google is blocking the website. Following are the types of SEO services.

  • White Hat

Nothing is better than White hat SEO services that contain a lot of important things. It totally depends on the Contains. If you are posting the genuine content on the website with a perfect keyword, then Google will give you perfect backlink that improves the rank. If you don’t want to face any complicated problem in the Future, then you should choose the White hat. Let’s discuss the type of white hat SEO.

  • On-page SEO

One should visit on the https://designful.ca and grab details about the on page techniques. It is one of the most important parts of the White hat SEO where you have to post only Genuine content.

  • Off-page SEO

It is another part of the white hat SEO. As per professionals, most of the people are paying attention to on page techniques over other ones.

  • Blackhat

Did you know 50% of the website users are making the use of Blackhat? It is really beneficial, but if you are running any multinational company, then one should rely on the White hat technique. It is completely against the algorithm of Google.

  • Grey Hat SEO

Last but not least, it is a less popular technique that is a mixture of both techniques. If you don’t want to face any problem, then one can rely on the Grey Hat SEO. With the help of Grey hat technique, you will attract millions of visitors in the few days.

Bottom line

In a nutshell, before choosing the SEO techniques, you should grab the suggestions from an SEO expert.

18 Nov

Which GOP Candidates Will Really Support Constitutional Rights

The first GOP Presidential debate since Texas Governor Rick Perry officially joined the race will be held tomorrow night. Prior to his announcement, I asked whether he would truly be a 10th Amendment advocate, a claim he makes constantly, or whether he would flip-flop on such issues as the states’ right to run their own courtrooms, which would deprive Americans of our 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits. I have some questions which I hope will be posed to Gov. Perry and other GOP candidates tomorrow night about their support for all of our constitutional rights:

7th and 10th Amendment rights or “fair-weather federalism”?

Governor Perry, you often assert that the federal government should stop encroaching on states’ rights, accusing Washington of intruding “upon the rights of the states and individuals to make decisions about our own healthcare, our businesses, our money,…” But you’ve flip-flopped on your stand on a federal marriage amendment to the Constitution – you were against it until you were for it – and on the need for a pro-life amendment to end abortion on demand. And your position on “tort reform” is inconsistent with that of a 10th Amendment purist. Specifically, you’ve proposed an amorphous concept of “civil justice reform,” citing the changes in Texas law you backed to sharply limit medical malpractice lawsuits and to force the losing parties in civil suits to pay all court costs. And in your book, “Fed Up,” you wrote that Republicans are for “ending frivolous lawsuits through real tort reform.” However, seven experts in constitutional law, including the leading anti-ObamaCare legal expert in the federal court cases, say that federal “tort reform” is not an enumerated power of the federal government and is unconstitutional. That expert, Professor Randy Barnett, accuses Republicans of being “fair-weather federalists” in pursuit of federal “tort reform,” and asserts that tort law is the exclusive province of the states. Famous and respected conservatives and Tea Party leaders agree with that judgment, such as fellow candidate Ron Paul; Sen. Tom Coburn; the co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, Mark Meckler; and the former President of the socially conservative Family Research Council, Ken Connor. So will you guarantee now that as President, you will not support any sweeping federal “tort reform” bill which would override the rights of the states under the 10th Amendment to run their own courtrooms, and that you’ll veto any such bill enacted by Congress?

Question for all candidates: Since many of you identify yourselves closely with the protection of individual rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, what is your understanding of the 7th Amendment to the Constitution, which states that “In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.” James Madison, principal author of the Bill of Rights, called the right to a jury trial for civil suits “as essential in securing the liberty of the people as any of the pre-eminent rights of nature,” a sentiment joined in by Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and other Founding Fathers. How would you protect that right in federal and state courts? Is the 7th Amendment a “lesser amendment” in your mind than the 2d Amendment right to bear arms, and if so, why?

Bill of Rights & American law or Sharia?

For all candidates, but starting with Gov. Perry: Gov. Perry, some conservative experts and commentators have expressed concern about your relationships with pro-Islamist elements such as the Aga Khan and its associated entities, especially the Aga Khan Foundation, over its involvement in the development of a “Muslim Histories and Cultures Program” in Texas schools. Longtime critics of radical Islam such as Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller have reviewed the course curriculum and questioned whether you are allowing the Aga Khan Foundation to present “a fantasy benign Islam, with all the violent and oppressive bits cut out.” Strict Islamic Sharia doesn’t protect the Constitutional rights of women as equal to men, and doesn’t recognize basic Constitutional rights such as the right to a jury trial for criminal and civil cases. But a recent study by a conservative group warns that local courts are applying Sharia, not the U.S. Constitution and American law. In recent years, anti-Sharia activists have promoted a movement to ensure that American courts enforce only American laws and not those enforced elsewhere, such as Islamic Sharia law. Given your declared allegience to the Bill of Rights, will you endorse that movement, and propose measures to ensure that Sharia law is excluded from contemplation in civil and criminal cases in all courts in the U.S.?Will all GOP candidates also endorse that movement?

“Constitutional conservative” or “crony capitalist?”

Question for Rep. Michele Bachmann, in part based on the previous question for Gov. Perry: You describe yourself as a “Constitutional conservative” and, like Gov. Perry, say that you’re for defending states’ rights. You are recently quoted saying that “the current government is acting outside the bounds of the Constitution. Probably the most obvious would be this Obamacare and the individual mandate that is unconstitutional and is currently contained in Obamacare.” But you are a co-sponsor of the most sweeping federal “tort reform” bill introduced this year in Congress, a bill which would effectively immunize health care and pharmaceutical companies which have contributed tens of thousands of dollars to your campaigns. Considering the conservative opposition to any federal “tort reform” bill on states’ rights grounds, why shouldn’t voters consider your declaration just another position by a “crony capitalist” who stands on the Constitution in order to help backers in the business community?

Religious freedom & right of conscience or abortion rights?

Question for all candidates: Last year, a federal court of appeals ruled that a pro-life Catholic nurse didn’t have the right to sue the hospital where she worked and that forced her to participate in an abortion. The court ignored the nurse’s Constitutional rights to freely exercise her religion and act in accordance with her conscience, rights explicitly recognized for medical personnel in federal and state law. This year, the Obama Administration rescinded a Bush-era regulation that provided conscience protections for medical workers so they could refuse to administer treatments they find morally objectionable. Will each of you commit to restoring the rights of medical workers to sue health care employers when the employer forces the employee to engage in morally objectionable treatments?

18 Nov

URGENT Senate Republican Leaders Demand Vote For Unconstitutional Tort Reform

I’ve written often here about the unconstitutional bill to crush states’ and individual rights that Senate Republican leadership slipped as a special section into S. 1720, the “Jobs Through Growth Act.” The section would impose a federal limit on awards in health care-related lawsuits (not just medical malpractice awards), and would establish a federal wage scale for just one set of American workers, the attorneys who litigate such cases for victims. Republican leaders added that section into the jobs bill without the knowledge of many Republican Senators, and a number of them told me personally that they oppose federal encroachment on state civil justice systems. Nevertheless, it appears that leaders are demanding that their members walk the plank for that section. Yesterday, the jobs bill was introduced as an amendment to another bill currently under Senate consideration, and the unconstitutional tort reform section is included in the amendment. We might see a vote on this bill as soon as tomorrow. They’re doing so despite the principled opposition of conservatives, such as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli; the Cato Institute; anti-ObamaCare Professor Randy Barnett, Rob Natelson, John Baker; the National Conference of State Legislators; numerous House Republicans; and other conservative legal experts. Senate Republican leadership seems all too ready to sacrifice constitutional principles to reward the AMA and other medical groups, even though they stabbed Republicans in the back by backing ObamaCare – that seems to me to violate one of the first rules of practical politics about punishing enemies.

Seventh and Tenth Amendment advocates need to immediately tell Senate Republicans to pull that section out of the bill before any votes on the bill.

18 Nov

REAL Conservative Health Care VS GOP Establishment Plan

House Speaker John Boehner announced last week that House Republicans would decide on an Obamacare alternative health care plan to bring to the House floor for a vote. The Republican Establishment in D.C. is pushing a plan drafted by Republican doctors serving in the House, one section of which imposes federal medical malpractice limits to help… DOCTORS – not patients. Last year, the Republican doctors took over the task of drafting a health care plan for the House Republican Study Committee, a group of conservative Members that used to protect states’ rights in its proposals and avoided proposals for a federal takeover of health care and state tort law. As I’ve written many times here, the legal experts who crafted the litigation strategy against Obamacare and advise House Republicans on the Constitution say that federal medmal limits of the type in the RSC bill are unconstitutional and accuse the GOP of being “FINOs – Federalists in Name Only.” Rob Natelson, probably the chief legal expert in the growing movement for an Article V convention to reassert federalism principles, criticized the federal medmal caps section in the RSC bill in October. It’s worth remembering that the Supreme Court agreed with Rob Natelson, Randy Barnett, and other anti-Obamacare experts in its 2012 decision on Obamacare that the law isn’t a valid exercise of Congress’ authority under the Commerce Clause.

Republican-side health care experts who accurately predicted Obamacare’s failures and are advising House Republicans on an alternative don’t favor federal medical malpractice limits either. Some recognize the conflict with the party’s stated goal of protecting states’ rights, and others know it really doesn’t save much in health care costs (see my post here for examples). Here are some of the numerous plans – truly conservative, actually market-based alternatives – that House Republicans should consider to avoid the Cronyist, anti-federalism landmine in the RSC bill:

James Capretta & Kevin Dayaratna, Compelling evidence makes the case for a market-driven health care system on the AEI website;

Avik Roy, Obamacare – The End of the Beginning on National Review Online;

James Capretta and Yuval Levin, Unwinding Obamacare published in The Weekly Standard;

Thomas P. Miller, Conservative health care reform – A reality check and The end of Obamacare – Just the beginning of better health care both also on the AEI website;

The Heritage Foundation, After Repeal of Obamacare: Moving to Patient-Centered, Market-Based Health Care ; and

Rep. Paul Broun, M.D. (R-GA), H.R. 2900, the Patient OPTION Act

SEVEN conservative, market-based health care plans, all with great ideas, none with unconstitutional, hypocritical, cronyist federal medical malpractice limits. Let’s hope House Republicans act according to principle.

18 Nov

Save the 7th 10th Amendments My Tea Party Nation Post

(I posted the following onTea Party Nationyesterday, summarizing several original posts here, but TPN restricts reading to registered members, so here it is.)


Who will stand up to protect our unalienable right to a jury trial for civil suits, which is supposed to be protected under the 7th Amendment to the Constitution? That was a right fought for by English peasants on the plains at Runymede in 1215, and protected by Article 39 of the Magna Carta, the charter for English law and then American constitutional democracy. The Founding Fathers wrote early and often, explicitly supporting our right to bring our civil claims before a jury of our peers. Some quotes:

“I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” — Thomas Jefferson to Thomas Paine

“By a declaration of rights I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, trial by juries in all cases…” — Thomas Jefferson to Alexander Donald

“The civil jury is a valuable safeguard to liberty.” — Alexander Hamilton

“In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.” — James Madison

But today the right to a civil jury trial is under constant attack, steadily eroding our ability to protect our rights and hold others accountable for their actions. Conservatives and Tea Partiers should support the civil justice system for all kinds of reasons, such as to protect religious liberty, gun rights and the unborn; punish terrorist financiers; limit the power of bureaucrats, and ensure local control.

And who will uphold the 10th Amendment and ensure that state laws and jury decisions aren’t overruled by federal law through pre-emption? The 7th and 10th Amendments are joined at the hip; pre-emption of state jury decisions erodes both amendments and enhances federal agencies’ power at the expense of average Americans.

Tea Partiers might be surprised to find out that there’s one profession in America that depends completely on the exercise of rights protected by the 7th and 10th Amendments. It’s the trial lawyers, who depend on the access to civil justice at the state and federal level to defend our rights through civil suits. And it’s not just those who work in law firms filing lawsuits over product liability or personal injury. Trial lawyers working for non-profit groups sue to protect believers who want to practice their faith; they protect property owners from land-grabbing municipalities. Gibson Vance, the President of the American Association for Justice, the largest trial lawyers’ association in the world, spoke at the National Convention of the Federalist Society on November 20. Mr. Vance discussed the history of the right to civil jury trials, as protected in the 7th Amendment of the Constitution, and the current dangers to our rights through mechanisms such as federal preemption of state jury decisions.

Last week, Mr. Vance reiterated many of those points in an article posted on the Huffington Post, titled “Constitutional Conservatives and the 7th Amendment.” He urged newly elected Congressmen from the ranks of Constitutional conservatives and Tea Party members to protect our 7th Amendment rights in future votes. You can read the entire article there, and here are some excerpts:

The constitutional conservatives’ stated commitment to our country’s founding principles is at this point widely known. But what is not widely known is where this group will come down regardingtort reform” – or limiting people’s 7th Amendment right to trial by jury.

The right to a trial by jury for civil suits dates back almost 800 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. Article 39 of the Magna Carta specifically guaranteed the right to a jury trial for civil suits and criminal cases.

Our Founding Fathers also agreed with the importance of a trial by jury. In the words of James Madison, “In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.”

Votes on tort reform will be one of the first true tests of newly-elected Constitutional Conservatives. In fact, the House will vote on Wednesday to repeal the health care reform law and take steps toward creating an alternative plan that would include limiting the legal rights of patients. These members should consider how this idea conflicts with the limited government they promote.

The concept of tort reform is an assault on states’ rights and individual freedom. Though politics may try to disguise our commonalities, constitutional conservatives claim adherence to very similar principles as do trial attorneys: preserving and promoting individual liberty, responsibility and the rule of law.

Our founding fathers had no intention of making the 2nd Amendment more or less important than the 7th, or any other part of the Bill of Rights. We cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution to follow or to ignore.

Any Congress, whether run by Democrats or Republicans, which tries to impose “tort reform” or “medical malpractice reform” to limit our right to seek trial by jury for our civil suits, is actually acting against the express desires of the Founding Fathers and subverting our Constitution. If we’re going to oppose ObamaCare, which would tell us which doctors we can and cannot use, we should also oppose federal tort reform, under which Uncle Sam could tell us which doctors we can’t sue when they screw up.

18 Nov

Respected Health Policy Legal Experts Slam Federal Tort Reform Idea

Two highly respected health policy experts and a conservative legal expert who served in the Reagan Administration have joined with the many health policy and legal experts who doubt the utility or constitutionality of federally imposed limits on damages in medical liability lawsuits.

Amitabh Chandra is Professor of Public Policy and Director of Health Policy Research at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, and is a member of CBO’s Panel of Health Advisors. He has testified before Congress, his research has been featured in media around the country, and he has received prestigious awards for his research. Among his many affiliations, Dr. Chandra is a Visiting Scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He has written numerous pieces on the cost of medical liability litigation and the outcomes of medical malpractice litigation.

So it might have been a surprise to supporters of federal medmal limits that on September 16, Dr. Chandra tweeted the following:

Dr. Chandra knows that even the CBO’s flawed methodology for estimating the ten-year costs of federal medmal limits produces a miniscule result that doesn’t save the taxpayers any money. In response to his tweet, I tweeted:

In late August, Dr. Chandra described the assertion that federal tort reform is “vital” as a “train wreck” in this tweet:

Dr. Chandra sides with many Republican-side health policy expert who realize the uselessness of federal medmal caps, one of whom is Thomas Miller, also of AEI. A former senior health economist for the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), Mr. Miller is the co-author of Why ObamaCare Is Wrong For America (HarperCollins 2011) and heads AEI’s “Beyond Repeal & Replace” health reform project. He has testified numerous times before Congress on health policy issues.

Mr. Miller recently wrote, “Conservative health care reform: A reality check,” in which he discussed numerous conservative policy measures that Republicans could propose to replace Obamacare. Throughout that piece, he never even mentioned federal medmal caps as an option. That’s nothing new for Mr. Miller, who has repeatedly shunned federal medmal caps as a useless and anti-states’ rights vehicle proposed by Republicans who should know better. Other Republican-side health policy experts, such as Jim Capretta and Avik Roy, also eschew federal medmal caps for the same reasons.

Then there’s Prof. David Wagner of Regent University Law School, who served as a political appointee in the Reagan Justice Department and as a Republican counsel on Capitol Hill, and his opinions on constitutional law have been published in numerous newspapers and journals. Prof. Wagner wrote last week that a new healthcare bill proposed by some House Republicans includes alternatives that are, “from a standpoint of principled federalism, a disheartening thing to watch.” That bill, H.R. 3121, includes the old, tired cliches of federal medmal caps and a national salary structure for attorneys – stuff that’s been panned by the Randy Barnetts & Rob Natelsons of America for years. Prof. Wagner even used Randy Barnett’s favorite term to describe the Republicans who leave their allegiance to states’ rights at the courthouse door: “In moving it forward, though, I hope this particular GOP House, which took over the majority in January 2011 with claims of unprecedented concern for constitutionality of legislation, will ask itself questions about ‘fair-weather federalism.'”

Republicans who co-sponsor H.R. 3121 are just proving that they don’t have serious, fresh, truly conservative ideas to replaces Obamacare, just the same old same old.

18 Nov

This is the way our Constitution disappears Its nibbled away

That was how GOP Presidential candidate Ron Paul described the impact of federal tort reform law, in the face of the Founding Fathers’ clear mandate to protect each state’s authority over its civil justice system. He was discussing the need to protect states’ rights in all circumstances during the Fox News/WSJ Presidential debate in South Carolina. Rick Santorum defended his support for a nationwide ban on lawsuits against gun manfacturers, and attacked Ron Paul’s vote against that ban. Ron Paul stood on the high ground of the Constitution and the Tenth Amendment and never relinquished it. Here is the full exchange, copied from the Fox News Insider website:

SANTORUM: I’ve been a strong — again, lifetime A-plus record with the NRA, worked with them. They came to me repeatedly when I was in the Senate to help them and — and — and sponsor legislation and work toward making sure in ensuring gun rights. Contrast that with Congressman Paul. And one of the most important things that we did in — in — in protecting the Second Amendment — and I provided a leadership role on it — was the gun manufacturers’ liability bill. There were a lot of lawyers out there who were trying to sue gun manufacturers and hold them liable for anybody who was harmed as a result of the gun properly functioning. And we — we went forward and passed, with the NRA’s backing, a bill that put a ban on those types of lawsuits. If that ban had not been passed, if that gun manufacturer’s liability bill, removing them from liability from that, had that not been passed, there would have been no gun industry in this country and there would have de facto been no Second Amendment right. Congressman Paul voted against that bill. And — and that’s a very big difference between someone who actually works with the gun — Second Amendment groups for — for legislation that can protect that right and someone who says they’re for Second Amendment, has attacked me on my Second Amendment issues, which you just referred to, and here’s a man that would have wiped out the Second Amendment by — if his vote would have been — carried the day.

BAIER: Congressman Paul?

PAUL: Hardly would that wipe out the Second Amendment. But the jurisdiction is obviously with the state. Even when tort law is involved with medical malpractice, which is a real problem, now, our governor worked on and our state has done a little bit on medical liability. I think that’s the way it should be handled. You don’t have — you don’t have national tort law. That’s not part of the process. That should be at the state level. So to argue the case that that does away with the Second Amendment, when I’m the one that offers all — all the legislation to repeal the gun bans that have been going on (inaudible) everything else. (APPLAUSE) I mean, I’ve introduced legislation like that. So that’s a bit — a bit of an overstretch to — to say that I’ve done away with the Second Amendment.

SANTORUM: No, I need to respond to that, because the fact is, if we did not have a national liability bill, then people would have been able to go to states like, say, Massachusetts or New York and sue gun manufacturers where they would not pass a gun liability bill. So unless you have a national standard to protect guns –manufacturers of guns, you would create the opportunity for the elimination of guns being manufactured in this country and de facto elimination of the right to bear arms. (APPLAUSE)

PAUL: Well, this is the way — this is the way our Constitution disappears. It’s nibbled away. You say, well, I can give up on this, and therefore, I’ll give that, and so eventually there’s nothing left. But, no, tort law should be a state function, not a federal function.

18 Nov

Top Tea Party Constitutional Law Expert Slams HR 5

Rob Natelson, one of the leading Constitutional scholars of the Tea Party movement, declared on Tuesday that “H.R. 5 flagrantly contravenes the limitations the Constitution places places upon Congress, and therefore violates both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.” That bill, as I’ve described numerous times here, would place new federal limits on lawsuits filed against a broad range of health care-related companies, including doctors, hospitals, drug & device companies, insurance companies, and nursing homes. Professor Natelson is an expert on the Founding Era; a former Republican candidate for Governor of Montana; and now Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Colorado, a non-partisan, free-market-oriented public policy research organization. Writing in his personal capacity to the Chairmen and ranking Members of the House Judiciary and Energy & Commerce Committees, he cited the Founders’ writings for concluding that (1) civil actions in state and federal courts are not “commerce” under the Commerce Clause; and (2) H.R. 5 is not justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause. Moreover, according to Professor Natelson, the proper interpretation of the Commerce Clause excludes “health laws of every description,” a phrase used by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall in the landmark case of Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824). Finally, Professor Natelson asserts that the section of H.R. 5 which purportedly protects states from pre-emption “grants protection only when the state undertakes policy choices preferred by Congress.” He describes that section as “more in the nature of an insult to the states than a protection of federalism.”

Professor Natelson also posted the letter on The Electric City Weblog in an entry titled, Yet MORE disregard for the Constitution — this time from Republicans. You can download Professor Natelson’s letter from that site (4.6 MB Acrobat). I hope you will disseminate his letter widely.

18 Nov

WHAT Constitutional authority for limiting Constitutional rights

The new House GOP Majority is set to repeal ObamaCare, which is fine with me, and try to save health care spending through some amorphous medical malpractice “reform.” Here is the short bill that the House will pass on Friday to instruct House committees to look for those “savings.” BUT WAIT, on December 17, they also promised to cite a “Constitutional authority” for each bill, and advised the Members to seek help from certain named think tanks, including some top conservative groups. But where will they find the authority for medmal reform, which abrogates the 7th Amendment right to civil jury trials and the states’ rights protected by the 10th Amendment?

It’s a good guess that the “conservative” organizations cited in the December 17 memo will point to the Supremacy and Commerce Clauses as their source for federal medmal reform of any kind. I wrote on December 6 that two top Republican legal experts, including one at the Cato Institute, cited those two clauses at a Federalist Society panel as rationale for the federal preemption of state jury decisions in medical device and drug cases. But they can’t hide their inconsistency. As I wrote on December 14, the ObamaCare decision exposed the Cato Institute as hopelessly inconsistent to the point of absolute hypocrisy. One Cato legal expert condemns the use of the Commerce Clause as a basis for the ObamaCare takeover of health care, while another Cato legal expert defends the Commerce Clause as the basis for tort reform through federal preemption of state jury decisions in drug and medical device cases. Is that really the type of guidance that House leaders want to give their new committee chairmen?

Other organizations cited in the December 17 memo are no better; on October 6, I documented the compromise of many conservative groups on Constitutionally protected rights. None of the mainstream conservative groups are willing to defend the 7th Amendment, and they also don’t appreciate how federal preemption of state jury decisions neuters the 10th Amendment, as well as the 7th Amendment.

As I wrote on December 14, the co-“Father of the Bill of Rights,” George Mason, knew 222 years ago that some group would eventually try to jam Supremacy Clause-driven federal law down our throats, and he insisted that the ultimate power of the Supremacy Clause be limited by the Bill of Rights. Will Tea Partiers accept the rollover of the 7th and 10th Amendments by the new majority, or will it speak up? Will they realize that compromising the right to sue for medical malpractice would also compromise the right to sue to protect religious liberty; protect the unborn and womens’ health; fight bureaucratic power; and promote other conservative causes. WE THE PEOPLE cannot allow any Congress to use the Supremacy and Commerce Clauses to gut our unalienable rights.

18 Nov

What Is Crony Capitalisms Secret Deadly Weapon Against Our Rights updated

Crony Capitalists (CCs) never quit trying to entice federal officials into giving them special access or favors and shutting millions of the rest of us out of court, so they have no accountability to a local jury for negligence or shoddy service. They’ve enlisted scores of Members of Congress, many of them self-proclaimed backers of states’ rights, in an effort to to override the Founding Fathers’ clear guidance that Congress doesn’t have authority over state tort law, specifically with respect to lawsuits over healthcare negligence. True Federalists have had some recent success in persuading conservatives to not accede to the CCs’ demands, but the CCs never quit. And while we fight that one big battle, CCs have opened up another front, with enormous success thanks to another arm of an all-powerful Uncle Sam.

Under the nose of the vast majority of Americans, Crony Capitalists have been moving to shut out millions of us from exercising our 7th Amendment rights over bad products or services, based on one rarely read paragraph in consumer contracts. That paragraph, in everything from cell phone and car contracts to employment agreements, requires us to submit to binding arbitration, and to not file a lawsuit, as a condition of even buying the product or service. Forced arbitration clauses eliminate the ability to hold wrongdoers accountable, even in the most egregious cases involving the abuse of children and the elderly, intentional wrongdoing, and gross violations of law.

These clauses force us to give up our God-given, constitutionally protected right to go to court in favor of being relegated into a system of secret arbitration, where the arbitrators and the rules are chosen by the very company against whom the individual has a grievance. There are no due process standards, no guarantees that the applicable laws will be upheld, and no public records of the proceedings.

Let me stress that there’s nothing wrong with voluntary arbitration in which both sides have an equal chance before an impartial arbitrator in an open process. That’s not what happens in the current arbitration environment. The little guy has almost no shot whatsoever. And the mainstream press never touches the subject.

It’s been trending this way for years, but Crony Capitalists have received a huge boost from the supposedly-conservative Supreme Court in the quest to shut courthouse doors over forced arbitration clauses. The Court’s recent decisions have turned an almost-80-year-old law, the Federal Arbitration Act, into a giant club with which to crush states’ and individual rights. Two Texas state judges summarized the state of forced arbitration and recently wrote the following:

Our Seventh Amendment right to a jury trial is vanishing before our very eyes thanks in large part to an increased reliance upon alternate dispute resolution and mandatory arbitration. While a sound argument can be made for the utility of arbitration in arms-length commercial transactions, the consequences are particularly dire in situations involving consumers and employment consequencesAT&T and Rent-A-Center pushed the FAA’s scope to new limits. Courts are now unlikely to find contracts with arbitration provisions unconscionable no matter what state law provides. It is obvious that the application of the FAA has expanded beyond its drafters’ intent and in the face of apparent deficiencies.

Last week, a federal securities regulator gave preliminary approval to a plan by the discount brokerage firm Charles Schwab to require all 8+ million accountholders to agree to forced arbitration, even if Schwab violates securities law. POOF! There goes the constitutional rights for over 8 million people. Betcha every stock brokerage firm copies Schwab, basically enabling Wall Street, which already liquidated billions in pension accounts, to throw ethics out the window again and take investors into another financial crash without penalty.

Tomorrow we’ll see if the Supreme Court will take forced arbitration another step further and force small businesses with American Express accounts to submit to forced arbitration procedures designed and run by AMEX. If the Supremes are consistent, every small business with a Gold Card will know how individuals feel when the phone company tells us to go to arbitration or enjoy our crummy phone.

WHAT’S NEXT?! Will we see a sign on the grocery store door and on receipts, telling us that the purchase of food there constitutes an agreement to not sue it for spoiled, poorly stored food that makes us sick? Will we see a little paragraph on our car mechanic’s bill, telling us that we can’t sue for a dangerously negligent care repair, even if we’re killed?

When will Congress start taking this seriously and change the Federal Arbitration Act so we can exercise our rights in state courts, as the Founders said we should?

UPDATE, March 4: I Discussed this issue on the What’s Up radio program, hosted by Terry Lowry and broadcast on 100.7 FM KKHT, the Word Live stream at www.KKHT.com in Houston, TX, and on KBXD-AM 1480 in Dallas. You can download and listen to the interview in three segments:
Segment One
Segment Two
Segment Three

18 Nov

When Clarence Thomas John Roberts Defended The 7th Amendment

The Seventh Amendment provides that ” [i]n Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved… Accordingly, we must conclude that the Seventh Amendment provides a right to a jury trial where the copyright owner elects to recover statutory damages… The right to a jury trial includes the right to have a jury determine the amount of statutory damages, if any, awarded to the copyright owner. It has long been recognized that “by the law the jury are judges of the damages.” Lord Townshend v. Hughes, 2 Mod. 150, 151, 86 Eng. Rep. 994, 994-995 (C.P. 1677). Thus in Dimick v. Schiedt, 293 U.S. 474, 55 S.Ct. 296, 79 L.Ed. 603 (1935), the Court stated that “the common law rule as it existed at the time of the adoption of the Constitution” was that “in cases where the amount of damages was uncertain[,] their assessment was a matter so peculiarly within the province of the jury that the Court should not alter it.”

So wrote Justice Clarence Thomas in his opinion for a unanimous Supreme Court, when it ruled in a 1998 copyright infringement case that the Seventh Amendment requires the right to a jury trial where the copyright owner elects to recover statutory damages. In Feltner v. Columbia Pictures Television, Inc., the Court overruled the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which had affirmed a district court’s ruling denying Feltner’s motion for a jury trial. Justice Thomas’ opinion included a discussion of the applicability of the Seventh Amendment to copyright infringement cases and, in effect, a terrific defense of the right to a civil jury trial and the role of local juries. Justice Thomas noted that even before adoption of the Constitution, in England and in the American colonies, “copyright suits for monetary damages were tried in courts of law, and thus before juries.” And he wrote that the Copyright Act of 1790 didn’t change that practice.

Ironically, the attorney asserting Mr. Feltner’s Seventh Amendment rights was John Roberts, now the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, and during oral argument before the Court, he eloquently noted the historical role and significance of civil jury rights enumerated under the Seventh Amendment:

In light of clear historical practice on both sides of the Atlantic prior to 1971, Feltner had a right under the Seventh Amendment to have a jury make that finding and others on which the award was based and determine the amount of damages to be imposed within the statutory limits.

The idea that… when Congress fixes the amount of the penalty it can therefore delegate that task to judges ignores the whole purpose of the Seventh Amendment.

The Seventh Amendment is to protect against judicial bias and corruption and overreaching and, while that’s not implicated when Congress fixes the amount because Congress is doing that, the judge is just applying it, when you give that task to the judge the whole reason for having the Seventh Amendment comes into play…

As someone who has criticized the Roberts Court for decisions denying civil jury trials in a number of preemption and arbitration cases, I was surprised to learn of this defense of the Seventh Amendment by Justice Thomas. My thanks to Bob Peck of the Center for Constitutional Litigation in Washington for pointing it out. Now if only the Roberts Court would only take a realistic view of the practical and harmful impacts of federal preemption and forced arbitration clauses on our right to a civil jury trial.

18 Nov

Founders Protected Civil Jury Trials in State Courts Too

Tomorrow I will be in Nashville, TN, to promote the universal right to civil jury trials, standing alongside the Tennessee Association for Justice and Susan Saladoff, producer of the documentary movie, Hot Coffee, which tells the truth about the famous McDonald’s “hot coffee” case. As I mentioned in an interview with the Tennessee Public News Service, the “tort reform” side has mythologized that case, completely distorting the facts. Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, rebutted those myths with actual facts in a December WorldNetDaily piece on the unconsitutionality of federal tort reform. I’m very pleased that Judson will join us tomorrow in Nashville.

It’s critical that Americans learn of the importance that the Founding Fathers gave to the right to civil jury trials for all causes and in all courts, state and federal. Historian Pauline Maier’s book, Ratification: The People Debate the Constitution, 1787-1788, has drawn rave reviews from a number of conservative legal scholars. Randy Barnett called it “marvelous” and described it as “the first comprehensive narrative of the ratification of the U.S Constitution, from the Philadelphia convention, through each of the states (in order of deliberation) and the drafting and adoption of the first 10 amendments.” So I downloaded it on Kindle and searched for references to the right to a civil jury trial. And the book refers to a number of instances in which the states discussed and debated the need to protect that right in explicitly in the Bill of Rights after the delegates to the Constitutional Convention rejected motions to do so in the Constitution.

The benefit of the right to civil jury trials and the need to protect that right was a part of numerous state ratification conventions. For instance, the delegates to the Pennsylvania ratification delegation entered into a heated argument over whether Sweden had utilized, and then eliminated, civil jury trials and the impact on civil justice, which was resolved only when a commentary by the English jurist William Blackstone proved that civil jury trials had been commonplace thoughout Europe. The book documents similar debates in Connecticut and Virginia, the latter resolved by reference to the same Blackstone commentary that determined the debate in Pennsylvania. No less a patriot than Patrick Henry argued that the lack of explicit protection of jury trials for civil and criminal cases would lead to the loss of all rights. It was these debates that eventually led James Madison to propose the inclusion of what became the Seventh Amendment in the package of constitutional amendments proposed during the first Congress. And as I’ve documented in posts here, most state constitutions explicitly protect the right to civil jury trials.

I hope tomorrow’s events in Nashville will be a springboard to a nationwide discussion on the meaning of the Seventh Amendment and the need to protect the God-given right to civil jury trials in state and federal courts. It’s clear from the documentation of the state ratification conventions that the Founders did not intend to see this precious right limited or eliminated in state courts.

18 Nov

Look Whos Forging Right-Left Coalition to Stop Crony Capitalism

Any conference that puts conservatives such as James Glassman, Fred Smith of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Pete Sepp of the National Taxpayers Union, and Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation with Jim Hightower, Medea Benjamin of CODE PINK, and Lori Wallach of Global Trade Watch is worth paying attention to, if for no reason other than to see if a fight breaks out. But Ralph Nader is doing that for the serious purpose of forging an “unstoppable” coalition to end Crony Capitalism, the special favors dished out by the federal government to cooperative businesses, usually of the large and politically powerful variety. It’s the subject of his latest book and a recent article in, of all places, The American Conservative.

The “Unstoppable Right/Left Convergence Event” will be held on Tuesday, May 27, at the Carnegie Institute in Washington. The speakers will address issues such as corporate welfare, international trade, the defense budget and civil liberties.

Some of these participants are already working together on issues of common concern. For instance, Lori Wallach and Judson Phillips have already collaborated in fighting the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty that I refer to as “Obamatrade” because, like Obamacare, it would be a largely secret and huge law that would enable bureaucrats to crush states’ and individual rights. Lori Wallach criticizes the TPP’s impact on collective bargaining, while Judson Phillips hammers it for overriding constitutional government and our rights.

I was honored to be invited by Mr. Nader to participate, but have a conflict. I hope the May 27 conference will be the first in a series and I look forward to participating in the future. And I hope constitutional conservatives will commend Ralph Nader for engineering this conference and trying to forge a new coalition.

18 Nov

Conservatives Slam House GOP For Betrayal of States Rights

It’s a stunning betrayal of all those hardworking, pro-Constitution Americans who gave U.S. House Republicans their majority.

That’s how Rob Natelson, premier constitutional scholar and past Republican candidate, yesterday described the plan concocted by House GOP leaders to force House Republicans to vote for either a bill crushing states’ rights or to affirm a key section of the equally unconstitutional Obamacare health care law. After the House adjourned last week, Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Cantor announced that they would push Members to vote for H.R. 5, a bill mandating sweeping a federal takeover of all medical malpractice lawsuits. That bill has been on the shelf for months, thanks to strong conservative opposition. So to make it extremely difficult for GOP Congressmen to oppose it now, Boehner and Cantor attached a very attractive Obamacare repeal bill to H.R. 5. The result is the Hobbesian choice as described succinctly by Rob Natelson: If Republicans vote “aye,” they get unconstitutional tort reform. If they vote “no,” then they’re retaining an unconstitutional part of Obamacare.

Mr. Natelson, a former law professor at the University of Montana, has made a national reputation in constitutional scholarship for identifying the early writings and letters of the Founding Fathers. He has been warning Republicans to avoid H.R. 5 for almost a year. Once again, he takes dead aim at it on the Tenth Amendment Center website:

Although promoted as “medical malpractice reform,” the measure is actually a big step toward federal control of state court systems. Essentially, it’s a lengthy set of mandates telling state and federal judges how to run their own courts whenever they deal with any health-care-related personal injury cases… This measure tells state judges and legislatures what damages they can allow, when they can allow them, how to instruct their juries, what the time period for bringing suit must be, etc. etc. One section beginning with the words “The provisions governing health care lawsuits set forth in this title preempt . . . State law” is given the Orwellian title, “State Flexibility and Protection of States’ Rights.”

Mr. Natelson’s new blast at the plan to push H.R. 5 was joined yesterday by Prof. Ilya Somin of the George Mason Law School, who criticized House leaders on the legal blog, “Volokh Conspiracy.”

“It is indeed true that I have argued that federally mandated tort reform is both constitutionally suspect and largely unnecessary, because interjurisdictional competition gives states strong incentives to reign in their tort lawsuits on their own, as many have already done. House Republicans’ support for federal tort reform calls into question the genuineness of the GOP’s commitment to respecting constitutional limits on federal power.”

Mr. Natelson also slams the hypocrisy of the House GOP leaders for basing their plan to take over state courts on the same constitutional justification as Obamacare:

“How do its sponsors justify this under the Constitution? The same way the national health care zealots justify Obamacare: The Constitution gives Congress power to regulate interstate commerce, so Congress may regulate everything that “affects” commerce, presumably including breathing. Of course, this justification is bogus. When the Constitution was being debated, its supporters emphasized that personal injury law within state boundaries would be a state concern. And although the modern Supreme Court has smudged constitutional boundaries a good deal, it has never authorized congressional micro-meddling of state judicial systems. On the contrary, the Supreme Court has ruled repeatedly that states and state courts are constitutionally free of most federal ‘commandeering.’

These two respected conservative scholars join the National Conference of State Legislators in opposing H.R. 5.

NOTE: In his post, Prof. Somin comments on my characterization of his positions in my post yesterday about Ted Frank’s and Walter Olson’s positions on H.R. 5. I certainly did not intend to refer incorrectly to Prof. Somin and have amended that post accordingly.

18 Nov

New Florida Law Enables Snooping Into Private Medical Records

Haven’t we had enough snooping into our private records by the government and its agents in the private sector? If you live in Florida, there could be more on the way.

A new Florida law invites snooping into private medical records. The law, enacted as S.B. 1792 and designated as Chapter 2013-108 of the Laws of Florida, went into effect yesterday, July 1. It enables defendants in medical malpractice cases in Florida to contact the health care providers of the victims and demand the unlimited release of personal health information, and all without the victims’ consent. So if you want to file a malpractice lawsuit in Florida and you have any embarrassing information in your medical past, you better be prepared to see it released to the public in an open courtroom.

The geniuses in the Florida legislature and Governor’s Mansion who thought this up apparently want to protect bad doctors, hospitals, clinics, and nurses from the consequences of their negligence.

One little problem for them: their special protection scheme might violate federal law.

Do the initials “HIPAA” mean anything to you? Unless you haven’t been in a doctor’s office or hospital anytime in the past decade, you’ve heard of it. It stands for the “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act,” and that law requires medical providers to protect patient information and use that information only for treatment, payment, and healthcare tasks. Under HIPAA, your medical providers cannot disclose your private medical records unless they’re subpoenaed, demanded through a discovery request in a civil suit, or through some other judicial order. HIPAA expressly overrides state law, unless the state law grants even more privacy protection than HIPAA.

The Florida law doesn’t provide for any judicial order and doesn’t mandate a subpoena – it just allows the lawyer for the medical provider to harass the victim’s medical provider into turning over the victim’s private records.

Five lawsuits have been filed in state and federal courts in Florida to declare that law invalid. Here’s one of the lawsuits, filed in federal court in West Palm Beach.

And remember that the Founding Fathers designed the civil justice system, in part, to protect us from a government that oversteps its boundaries, violates our rights, and gives special favors to a few at the expense of the rest of us. There’s no reason for Florida to give the defendants in medical malpractice cases a key to open the door to some of our most sensitive personal information.

If you live in Florida, call your state representative and senator and demand that they repeal S.B. 1792 NOW.

18 Nov

House Republican Leaders Mislead Members About Reagan on Tort Reform

In a briefing paper sent to House Republican staff, a House Republican leader and the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith, are misquoting Ronald Reagan on the subject of tort reform. Reagan spoke about tort reform only once in his career, and in that speech specifically referred to the states’ authority to run their own civil justice system under the Constitution. Yet that statement is excluded from the GOP leaders briefing paper to Members on H.R. 5. I wrote a lengthy post about this on January 24 of this year. Here is what Reagan said in that speech, including a sentence in which Reagan defended states’ rights over tort law:

“Earlier this year I endorsed the report of my Domestic Policy Council’s Tort Policy Working Group. This report contains a number of recommendations, recommendations that include fixed-dollar limitations for certain kinds of awards and the establishment of assurances that liability judgments go to those actually wronged or injured and not to the lining of their attorney’s pockets. Now, one of the report’s most important recommendations urged our administration to submit reform legislation to the Congress.

This legislation, carefully drafted, has now been introduced in the Congress by Senator Robert Kasten and Congressman Hamilton Fish. It restores the fault standard, which requires that actual fault or wrongdoing must be established in most cases before liability can be assessed. It limits pain-and-suffering and punitive damage awards, awards the amount contingency-fee lawyers could earn, and restricts the joint and several liability doctrine that can force a single defendant to pay all damages even if he is only partly to blame. To be sure, much tort law would remain to be reformed by the 50 States, not the Federal Government. And in our Federal system of government this is only right. Many of the Tort Policy Working Group recommendations, for example, would have to be implemented at the State level to be fully effective. This administration’s bill represents a much-needed overhaul of Federal laws governing interstate commerce –one of the fields of authority the Federal Government is specifically granted by the Constitution — and sets an example of common sense for the rest of the Nation to follow.”

THE GOP LEADERSHIP PAPER TO MEMBERS EXCLUDE REAGAN’S DEFENSE OF STATES’ RIGHTS. Moreover, the paper excludes that fact that Reagan never proposed a federal tort reform bill in any State of the Union message or any economic proposal.

Ronald Reagan was a true constitutional conservative, and tort reform was not on his radar. To misquote him on this subject is a terrible disservice to his legacy and to those of us who worked for him in his Administration.

18 Nov

Conservative Legal Experts Oppose Federal Tort Reform

It’s remarkable that Texas Governor Rick Perry would call for federal tort reform and ignore the writings of so many highly respected conservative and Tea Party-side constitutional experts. Instead, he’s sided with the pro-tort reform community in its reliance on constitutional theory that enables the federal government to trample on individual and states’ rights in health care and tort law, issues which the Founding Fathers clearly reserved for the states alone. Ironically, his “federal tort reform” would reward members of health care associations, such as the AMA, AHIP, and the health insurance industry, which were the co-conspirators in the enactment of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. ObamaCare, which he promises to repeal. Let’s review the legal theories in controversy here and how conservative legal experts have condemned federal tort reform this year.

At the start of the new Congress, pro-tort reform Republicans, led by a “Doctors Caucus” seeking special protection for their industry, introduced a bill, H.R. 5, a bill to impose stringent limits on the damages that victims of medical malpractice and other health care negligence can seek. The limits would apply to all lawsuits in the U.S. against doctors, hospitals, drug and device companies, nursing homes, and the insurance industry. The bill preempts all state laws that provide additional protections to patients.

Rob Natelson, formerly of the University of Montana Law School, is now Senior Fellow at the Independence Institute, a Tea Party-side legal expert and a former Republican candidate in Montana. He was the first expert from “the right side” to criticize H.R. 5, in a letter to Congress in April, and then again in an op-ed piece on May 9. Here are some excerpts from each:

H.R. 5 flagrantly contravenes the limitations the Constitution places places upon Congress, and therefore violates both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. H.R. 5 is purportedly an exercise of the Constitution’s Commerce Power. Yet as I shall explain, its subject-matter–civil actions in federal and state courts–is not within the Constitution’s meaning of “Commerce.” Nor can H.R. 5 be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause as incidental to the regulation of interstate Commerce. On the contrary, during the debates over ratification of the Constitution, leading Founders specifically represented that the subject-matter of H.R. 5 was outside federal enumerated powers and reserved to the states

Even before the Ninth and Tenth Amendments reinforced the limits, Founders, such as Madison, Hamilton, and James Wilson, among others, represented that tort law and civil justice specifically were to be state concerns. True, Congress could erect and regulate federal courts with diversity jurisdiction, but only because of separate constitutional grants, not as a result of the Commerce Power. Indeed, I have never seen any evidence that the power to erect and regulate federal courts included authority to alter prevailing tort law even in those courts, and certainly not in state courts.

To the extent that H.R. 5 regulates health care in addition to civil justice, it is also outside the Commerce Clause. No less an authority than Chief Justice John Marshall said so, in Gibbons v. Ogden, a decision celebrated as an expansive interpretation of the Commerce Power. In that case, Marshall (himself formerly a leading Ratifier) stated that “health laws of every description”–presumably including laws governing health care litigation–were reserved exclusively to the states

Up till now the state courts have been one of the few areas of life relatively untouched by federal meddling. That is as it was supposed to be: State court systems are central to state sovereignty. Moreover, the Constitution reserves most issues of civil and criminal justice to the exclusive authority of the states, rather than the federal government. When the Constitution was being considered, its supporters said explicitly that state court systems are constitutionally out-of-bounds for Congress

HR 5 is advertised as addressing abusive lawsuits against physicians, but it goes far beyond that. It would regulate in detail just about every American lawsuit that has anything to do with health care: What an injured party can allege in his or her initial filing, the damages he or she can recover, how damages are disbursed, burdens of proof, what the jury may and may not consider, which state laws survive and which don’t. HR 5 even directs state judges to conceal pertinent information from the jury. It’s not certain the Supreme Court would uphold all of this bill. But it is certainly a flagrant invasion of local control. Here’s a real irony: The Republicans supporting HR 5 justify it by parroting exactly the same ridiculous “Commerce Clause” claims the President uses to justify ObamaCare.

Partially in response to the Rob Natelson’s April letter to Congress, the pro-tort reform side trotted out a corporate lawyer to write a defense of H.R. 5. The paper relies on what has become, since the early 1940s, the standard basis cited for all encroachments by the federal government into business decisions. Quoting from the ATRA paper:

Since the 1942 case of Wickard v. Filburn, involving Congress’s power to regulate the production of homegrown wheat, the United States Supreme Court has interpreted the Commerce Clause quite broadly with respect to the regulation of economic activity… The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS) has closely analyzed judicial precedent and concluded that ‘there seems little doubt that tort reform legislation, in general, would be within Congress’s commerce power.’ Under its power to regulate interstate commerce, Congress may ‘make such legislation applicable to intrastate torts, because tort suits generally affect interstate commerce.’ With respect to the HEALTH Act, CRS has specifically recognized that ‘[m]edical malpractice liability is governed by state law, but Congress has the power, under the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution (Art. I, ยง 8, cl. 3) to regulate it.’ Healthcare is truly national in scope and fundamental to interstate commerce… By placing an upper limit on subjective and otherwise limitless pain and suffering damages against doctors and other medical professionals, Congress can promote a more cost-effective healthcare delivery system… H.R. 5 is consistent with the Tenth Amendment, which provides that ‘[t]he powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Other conservative and Tea Party-side legal experts revolted openly against this paper and H.R. 5, and chastised House Republicans for condemning ObamaCare in one speech and pushing the expansion of fedral authority over health care and states’ rights in another.

Professor Randy Barnett of Georgetown University Law Center, the conservative legal superstar involved in the multistate lawsuit against ObamaCare in federal court, wrote in an op-ed on May 21: “But tort law — the body of rules by which persons seek damages for injuries to their person and property — has always been regulated by states, not the federal government. Tort law is at the heart of what is called the “police power” of states… Indeed, if Congress now can regulate tort law, which has always been at the core of state powers, then Congress, and not the states, has a general police power. This issue concerns constitutional principle, not policy: the fundamental principle that Congress has only limited and enumerated powers, and that Congress should stay within these limits. Constitutional law professors have long cynically ridiculed a ‘fair-weather federalism’ that is abandoned whenever it is inconvenient to someone’s policy preferences. If House Republicans ignore their Pledge to America to assess the Constitution themselves, and invade the powers ‘reserved to the states’ as affirmed by the Tenth Amendment, they will prove my colleagues right.”

Prof. Barnett was interviewed on the nationally syndicated What’s Up radio program by host Terry Lowry about how H.R. 5 violates the limitations on the powers granted to the federal government in the Constitution and Bill of Rights. You can listen to the first segment of his interview here and listen to the second segment of the interview here (MP3 audio files). Starting at 2:32 of the second segment, he said, “Congress doesn’t really have the authority to do tort reform legislation because that has historically been within the province of the states…” He proceeded to reiterate the other points of his op-ed, especially that federal tort reform legislation is an abuse of the Commerce Clause.

Prof. Ilya Somin of the George Mason University School of Law, another conservative legal expert who co-authored amicus briefs in anti-ObamaCare court cases, concurred with Prof. Barnett in a May 23 blog post. “Hopefully, at least some Republican conservatives will begin to see that you can’t advocate strict limits on federal power with one hand while trying to impose sweeping federal control over state tort law with the other. Inthis post, I explained why federally mandated tort reform is, in most cases, both constitutionally dubious and unnecessary. The better way to restrict abusive tort suits is through interstate competition combined with constraints on states’ ability to regulate conduct outside their borders.” The previous post to which he referred was in February in which he wrote, “In my view, however, current precedent is badly misguided in allowing Congress to regulate virtually any ‘activity.’ Therefore, I think most federally mandated tort reform is in fact unconstitutional, even if the Supreme Court would permit it to go forward.”

Yet another respected conservative professor, Jonathan Adler of the Case Western Reserve School of Law, wrote a very brief comment against H.R. 5 in support of an attack from an unusual source, an pro-tort reform advocate, about which I will write in a separate post. Prof. Adler wrote that, “support of a particular policy goal does not require abandoning a principled commitment to the broader federalist scheme.” Professor Adler is a frequent contributor to the events and publications of the Federalist Society, considered the premier conservative-side legal organization in the country.

Professor John Baker, a Distinguished Scholar at Catholic University Law School, Professor Emeritus at LSU Law School, and frequent presenter at Federalist Society events, wrote on the Daily Caller website on June 22 that H.R. 5 and ObamaCare are two peas from the same post-Willard Commerce Clause pod:

To justify their efforts to nationalize medical malpractice law, House Republicans are stretching the Supreme Court’s New Deal Commerce Clause jurisprudence almost as far as Democrats did for Obamacare. Both national medical malpractice reform and Obamacare are radically at odds with our constitutional structure of federalism, though Obamacare is especially radical because it represents the first time that the federal government has required people to purchase a product (health insurance).

What compels House Republican leaders to ignore the Constitution? Nationalizing medical malpractice law would not necessarily protect hometown doctors. Some states currently offer doctors better protection, without being subjected to federal bureaucrats. Other states would do so if doctors worked their own state legislatures, rather than relying on a Washington lobby, the American Medical Association.

The explanation for the eagerness of House Republican leaders to nationalize even more of the economy is a simple reality: both Congressional Democrats and Congressional Republicans like the New Deal interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which allows them to expand national power. They would just do so for different purposes.

Prof. Baker went further, warning Republicans like Rick Perry that enacting a federal tort reform bill like H.R. 5 could boost the chances that the Supreme Court would rule favorably on the Affordable Care Act. “Seeing that Republicans are as willing as Democrats to nationalize different parts of healthcare, the justices might conclude that there is a Congressional consensus to nationalize all of healthcare. Since justices tend to defer to Congress, that might be enough to tip the scales in Obamacare’s favor.”

Is that really what Rick Perry wants? To boost the chances of victory for ObamaCare?

Rob Natelson returned to the subjects of federal tort reform and the Commerce Clause on July 18 in the course of a discussion on Chief Justice John Marshall and his signature case, Gibbons v. Ogden, on the Tenth Amendment Center website:

Gibbons v. Odgen is often appealed to, as Justice Jackson did, for a very broad reading of the ‘commerce’ component of the Necessary and Proper Clause. Under this reading, the Necessary and Proper Clause allows Congress to regulate any economic activity “substantially affecting” interstate commerce: agriculture, mining, manufacturing, heath care, insurance, medical marijuana–in fact, the entire economy.

However, Gibbons did not even mention the Necessary and Proper Clause. The primary holding of Gibbons was that navigation was within the prevailing legal definition of ‘commerce’ for constitutional purposes–a decision that, under the original understanding of the Constitution, was clearly correct. Some of the Court’s dicta (extraneous language) added that in some circumstances commerce (including navigation) within state boundaries might be so tied up with interstate commerce that Congress could regulate it as well. But when Marshall addressed other aspects of the economy, it was to say that they were outside of Congress’s power. He specifically mentioned ‘health laws of every description’ as being reserved exclusively to the states.

So those who use Gibbons to argue for the constitutionality of federal control of manufacturing, agriculture, land use, or health care are twisting some of Marshall’s words and omitting others.

In other words, the pro-ObamaCare forces and the pro-tort reform causes make the same error for the same reasons. In both cases, the result of victory in each case would be the exercise of excessive federal power, to the detriment of individual rights and the rights of individual states to regulate and manage the daily activities of the citizenry.

That makes FIVE conservative legal experts, bright shining stars in the conservative legal universe, standing against the concept of federal tort reform. Two other legal experts wrote about the unconstitutionality of H.R. 5, but they deserve special discussion in another post, because they’re pro-tort reform advocates who recognized the unconstitutionality of H.R. 5.

18 Nov

Obamas Vision Could Hurt Civil Justice in America

It wasn’t difficult to see liberals standing on the Mall in Washington, bundled in warm clothing and loudly cheering President Obama’s Inaugural Address, with the promise of larger and more activist central government deployed to implement a “progressive” agenda. But I saw another group smiling softly deep in the background. It was the Crony Capitalists, watching from warm, comfortable Fortune 100 boardrooms across America and on Wall Street, and their K Street lobbyists in DC, all nodding their heads at the opportunity to transform that vision into new laws and regulations that would benefit their own interests. That’s the way it works in Washington, and the rest of us are the cream in the Oreo cookie, stuck in the middle and crushed by both sides.

Liberals, especially those dedicated to the cause of civil justice, should be careful what they wish for in the next four years. An Uncle Sam unleashed from the limits on centralized power designed into the Constitution and Bill of Rights could hinder or even crush the individual right to have civil suits heard before a local jury and the right of state governments to enforce local laws benefitting the consumer. In the hands of Big Government Liberals and Crony Capitalists working behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms, phrases of Obama’s speech such as “collective action” and “common effort” could result in budget “compromises” and “Grand Bargains” that leave us with ugly surprises, such as federal caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits filed in state and county courts; preemption of state consumer protection laws; and limits on the authority of state Attorneys General. Is that what liberals signed up for when they cheered President Obama?

Civil justice activists of all stripes should heed and cite the majority decision by the Supreme Court in the Obamacare ruling. Thankfully, the Court expressed the need for the Executive Branch and Congress to recognize and follow constitutional limits on their authority under the Commerce Clause and the Necessary and Proper Clause. Constitutional experts whose theories were adopted by the majority, such as Randy Barnett and Rob Natelson, have already made it clear that the Roberts decision imposed new limits on the unbridled ambition to override state governments and individual rights. Randy Barnett promises to lead any legal challenge to an enacted federal cap on medmal damages, and both experts predict such a law would be struck down by the current Court. As long as that opinion isn’t overruled through the appointment of justices who believe in an unlimited Commerce Clause, as promoted in Justice Ginsberg’s minority opinion, the Founding Fathers’ vision of a civil justice system dominated by local juries, and not bureaucrats in Washington, will remain alive.

Ironic, isn’t it? Civil justice advocates on the left need libertarians and constitutional conservative thinkers such as Randy Barnett and Rob Natelson; conservative Republicans such as Ted Poe, Louis Gohmert, Tom Coburn, Mike Lee and Ken Cuccinelli; and wise Tea Party activists such as Judson Phillips, to keep the promise of equality under law. Let’s hope civil justice liberals realize it.

18 Nov

Influential Catholic Christian Groups Support Obamacare Lawsuits

Last week, scores of influential Catholic and Christian groups publicly backed the principles underlying the lawsuits filed on May 21 by Catholic dioceses and groups against the Obamacare drug and device mandates. The announcements should add considerable pressure on the Obama White House to rescind or amend HHS regulations ordering faith-based groups to engage in health care activities totally contrary to the congregations’ religious doctrines.

On June 11, over 150 faith-based organizations joined in a letter to HHS Secretary Sebelius, expressing “grave concern” over the impact that the Obamacare mandate will have on religious freedom. The Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition, organized the letter. It was signed by aid organizations, including World Relief and the U.S. branches of the Salvation Army and World Vision, Inc, as well as by the National Association of Evangelicals; the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; the Baptist Bible College & Seminary; and the North American Baptist Conference. Legal organizations involved in lawsuits against the Obamacare mandate, such as Liberty Counsel and the American Center for Law and Justice, also signed the letter. They wrote:

As leaders and supporters of faith-based service organizations, we write to express our grave concern about the two-class concept of religious organizations that has been created by your department and other federal agencies in connection with the contraceptives mandate of the health insurance regulations for preventive services for women.

But we are united in opposition to the creation in federal law of two classes of religious organizations: churches–considered sufficiently focused inwardly to merit an exemption and thus full protection from the mandate; and faith-based service organizations–outwardly oriented and given a lesser degree of protection. It is this two-class system that the administration has embedded in federal law via the February 15, 2012, publication of the final rules providing for an exemption from the mandate for a narrowly defined set of “religious employers” and the related administration publications and statements about a different “accommodation” for non-exempt religious organizations.

On June 14, the Catholic Heath Association, the largest groups of Catholic-based hospitals in the U.S., delivered a crushing blow to any hopes that the Obamacare mandates would find any approval among leading Catholic-based organizations. The Catholic Health Association, the largest group of Catholic-affiliated hospitals and nursing homes in the country, issued a letter opposing the HHS mandate. The CHA’s opposition is especially damaging to the future of Obamacare because (a) it represents 600 hospitals and hundreds of nursing homes (one of every six patients in the U.S. is cared for in a Catholic hospital); and (b) it supported the enactment of Obamacare and was a key player in votes for the law by Catholic Democrats in the U.S. House.

CHA President, Sister Carol Keehan, wrote in the letter that, “we continue to believe that it is imperative for the Administration to abandon the narrow definition of “religious employer” and instead use an expanded definition to exempt from the contraceptive mandate not only churches, but also Catholic hospitals, health care organizations and other ministries of the Church.”

In other words, the Obamacare mandate would force CHA-member institutions to either turn away non-Catholic patients or close. That’s what numerous Catholic social services organizations have said – hospitals, nursing homes, AIDS clinics, and local clinics for the poor could all close.

These letters are precursors to the next stage of lawsuits against Obamacare by faith-based social service organizations, unless the White House amends or rescinds the current version of the mandate or the Supreme Court throws out the entire law.

The 43 Catholic dioceses, organizations and universities that sued the Obama administration on May 21 invoked their 7th Amendment rights and demanded that local juries hear the suits, not judges. It would be better if push doesn’t come to shove, but if it does, the nation will see why the Founding Fathers were unanimous in including this “sacred” and “inviolable” right in the Bill of Rights.

18 Nov

Paul Ryan Embraces Crony Politics Ditches Constitution in Budget

On Sunday, Rep. Paul Ryan promised, “No more crony politics” in his budget during TV interview. That promise lasted two days. Today, he released his budget, which would reward the pro-Obamacare (and pro-abortion) AMA and associated medical groups by capping what victims of healthcare malpractice can collect in lawsuits filed in state courts. Here’s the text on page 40 of Rep. Ryan’s draft budget for FY 2014:

“• Reform the medical liability system.
This budget also advances common-sense curbs on abusive and frivolous lawsuits. Medical lawsuits and excessive verdicts increase health-care costs and result in reduced access to care. When mistakes happen, patients have a right to fair representation and fair compensation. But the current tort litigation system too often serves the interests of lawyers while driving up costs. The budget supports several changes to laws governing medical liability, including limits on noneconomic and punitive damages.”

The plan ignores the opinions of the most respected Republican-side and libertarian legal experts who have repeatedly written that Congress has no authority to enact federal caps on medical malpractice lawsuits, especially under the majority opinion in the Supreme Court’s Obamacare opinion. Such a measure crushes states’ and individual rights and is an invalid exercise of the Commerce Clause.

The panoply of experts include Prof. Randy Barnett; Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli; legal experts Rob Natelson, John Baker and Carrie Severino; and Reps. Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert and Lee Terry, and Senators Tom Coburn and Mike Lee. The National Conference of State Legislators has always protested federal caps as a violation of the states’ right to operate their civil justice systems without federal interference. Tea party leaders such as Judson Phillips and the Tea Party Patriots criticized the passage of caps by the Republican House in the last session of Congress.

And federal caps on medmal damages are not supported by leading Republican-side healthcare experts. Avik Roy, Jim Capretta and Tom Miller don’t include it in any of their recent proposals. They know federal caps on medmal lawsuits do nothing to help improve the quality of medical care.

The Ryan budget is nothing more than a sop to doctors, insurance companies, drug and device companies, and nursing homes, ALL of whom supported the enactment of Obamacare and approval by the Supreme Court. The lust for campaign dollars ignores the Constitution and realities in the healthcare marketplace.

Republicans should reject Ryan’s Crony Politics and vote with the Founding Fathers.

18 Nov

Dont Protect Gosnell Through Federal MedMal Limits

On November 20, 2009, 41-year-old Karnamaya Mongar made the wrong choice, a horrible decision that ended two lives that day. She chose to have an abortion at the clinic run by Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia. Not only did Gosnell kill Mongar’s unborn baby, but he butchered her so she experienced severe pain, then shot her up with so many pain-killers that she died on the spot. The city of Philadelphia finally realized what Gosnell and his untrained, unlicensed staff have been doing in his “house of horrors” and indicted them for allegedly murdering multiple women and live babies. Mongar’s family hired a top-notch Philadelphia law firm and has filed a civil suit against Gosnell for medical malpractice.

But medical malpractice suits brought by families of other Gosnell victims could be severely limited in impact, and Gosnell allowed to keep much of his “blood money,” if federal limits are imposed for the first time on medical malpractice suits. The bill designated H.R. 5 will be debated and voted upon next week in the House Judiciary Committee. It would sharply limit non-economic and punitive damages, so Gosnell wouldn’t feel the sting of a jury verdict on his assets. And the bill would mandate that a jury sit there and listen to Gosnell as he tries to spread the blame for the deaths to his patients.

Ms. Mongar and the other women butchered in that clinic made the wrong decision, but that doesn’t justify murder. My view as a pro-life Christian is that Gosnell and his staff deprived the dead women of the opportunity to reclaim their lives and repent for the sin of the abortion – they took that away from their patients. The babies Gosnell killed, born and unborn, cannot take his blood money away. Only the families of the women who were mutilated by Gosnell can ensure he is punished financially so he can’t just access his assets someday and start over. Congress shouldn’t protect Gosnell from justice, delivered by a local jury in a court of law.

18 Nov

On the List St Patricks Day

I’m sort of ambivalent about my ambivalence toward St. Patrick’s Day. On the one hand, it’s obviously fucking stupid. On the other, it’s really fucking stupid, so it’s kind of hard to strike the right balance of feigned superiority that I’m known by literally tens of people for. But anything that brings together the holy trinity of List ridiculousness: Religion, Nationalism and Getting Wasted, Dude! altogether in one spectacular shit show is ripe for scorn. When you add in other reliable List-worthy staples like Boston, the Irish, Irish-Americans, parades, having fun, doing stuff, and being sociable with other people, well, it deserves a special rung of its own in List hell. The only way it could be worse is if it was a day where everyone pretended really hard right in your face to be Italian.


I think we can all agree that no matter how bad St. Patrick’s Day is, at least we dodged a bullet on that one.

The reason it doesn’t bother me too much though is because, as a reasonable person, I don’t even really know that it exists. I don’t go to Southie to watch the parade. I don’t go to watch any parade for that matter. I’d rather see a column of stormtroopers marching down the street to my front door with burning torches and laser shields than be subjected to that particular drunken brand of artistry that comprises everything contemptible about ethnic pride and displays of military prowess. (Marching bands are kind of cool though, just saying.)

And unlike every other night of the year I will make the reasonable decision to avoid bars tonight. Why? Because I am not a fucking moron. Also I don’t like standing in lines, being around ridiculous people, or taking part in forced displays of camaraderie. I don’t like watching people puke, get in fights and singing old timey Irish folk songs either. If I wanted to take part in any of that shit I wouldn’t have quit going to AA meetings with your sister.

So, I don’t know. Go celebrate it if you want. It’s your stupid life. But do me a favor, every couple hours or so, in between spilling sips of green water-colored beer piss on your green Cosby sweater, think about this: St. Patrick wasn’t even Irish. Dude was born in Roman Briton. Also there were never any snakes in Ireland. Also taxes are due in a couple weeks and we’re all going to die some day, most likely in pain and alone.

Anyway, have fun having fun. See you tomorrow for the post-game wrap up. I wanna hear all about it.

18 Nov

Jesus Wrote the Declaration of Independence

Making fun of conservative art is kind of like shooting retarded fish in a retarded barrel, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything that so comprehensively captures the experience of being completely clueless about everything that has ever happened ever. I am literally in awe of this painting’s majesty, and no I’m not talking about the hippie cosplay dude ignoring that kid in the middle. 

So, obviously, Jesus wrote the rules of America and Abe Lincoln and an astronaut and Kevin Spacey were all there. Everyone agrees on that. What you may not have known, if you look a little closer here on the bottom right, is that pregnant sluts, jew lawyers, the liberal media, pointy headed professors with their fancy science-y books and, what, Jeff Bridges in a blazer I guess, are all bros with Satan. 

This shit is a little internet old, but true art is timeless, right? Here’s where my man explains the whole thing, complete with captions for each figure, like the Civil War soldier with his hands over his face. Why? “Because that was the only war in American history where American fought against American and brother fought against brother. Hopefully it will never happen again.” Unless the liberals try to steal our machine guns he probably meant to add. So, go check it out. Meet you back here in ten years when you recover.

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