You gotta feel sorry for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its “tort reform” branch, the Institute for Legal Reform, don’t cha? I mean here they are, spending more lobbying money than anyone else, yet even while they had complete control of all three branches of government, couldn’t get all they wanted, and now, they’ve lost their grip on the U.S. Congress and it seems like the political landscape keeps getting worse and worse. So maybe the little wires in their little brains are starting to short out.
How else do you explain a web site like this, which supposedly discusses “plaintiff’s trial lawyer earmarks to expand liability.”
First, can I say something obvious here? For the entire time the Chamber’s bought-and-paid-for allies controlled Congress (not to mention the presidency), consumers’ rights were routinely threatened – and damaged – by incredible corporate-earmarking sleaze. Like when, in 2002, Sen. Bill Frist engineered the insertion of a provision into the Homeland Security bill that would protect Eli Lilly and other pharmaceutical giants from lawsuits over a preservative in infant vaccines that has been connected with autism. And that act just barely touched the surface with Frist.
Second, another obvious question. Why is it that when the Chamber does its dirty immunity business, it’s to benefit its corporate members? But when bills are introduced that deal with the rights of average people - you and me – that’s just a “trial lawyer” issue. Is this PR strategy getting SO OLD, already?
So now let’s take a look at some of these so-called “plaintiff’s trial lawyer earmarks.” FISA - one of the biggest and most controversial political issues in the last month. Trial lawyers had nothing to do with this.
Or how about legislation to give military members the same access to the courts as every other US citizen who has been injured by medical malpractice? An issue about protecting our troops from preventable harm and what incredible nerve of the Chamber to oppose this!
The Chamber even uses trial lawyers to criticize a bill that would ban Chamber members who engage in wrongdoing from forcing secret settlements that cover up public health and safety problems. Kudos for trial lawyers for supporting this, but it’s a huge consumer protection issue that’s been around for years and shame on the Chamber for opposing it.
I’m no big fan of Robert Novak. But I am sorry he has a brain tumor and hope he gets better soon. Maybe the Chamber also has a brain tumor, which might explain this behavior. In which case, all I can say is, pedestrians, get out of the way!