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.