Well, civil justice fans, the people have spoken, and despite injecting wads of cash into local judicial and attorney general races, the so-called “tort reform” crowd suffered some stinging defeats at the state level. Among the great things that happened on November 4, voters ousted anti-consumer judges in major upsets by electing two chief justices and two supreme court incumbents, and re-electing the West Virginia attorney general, who has been relentlessly targeted by “tort reform” groups and attacked during the campaign by U.S. Chamber of Commerce-supported ads, which were produced by the same nice folks who brought you the famous “swift boat” spots.
Of course, for those of us who were horrified by the largely covert hijacking of previous elections by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and other so-called “reform” groups, these victories are particularly sweet.
So, hooray that Michigan Chief Justice Cliff Taylor lost to Diane Marie Hathaway, despite almost tripling her campaign spending (with the help of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce).
Three cheers for the fact that Mississippi Chief Justice Jim Smith who was backed by the “reform group,” Mississipians for Economic Progress, lost to the great trial lawyer Jim Kitchens (who is perhaps best known outside the legal community for representing the only child of blues legend Robert Johnson) and won with 54 percent of the vote!
And an extra-special shout to West Virginia AG Darrel McGraw, who has fought valiantly on behalf of those victimized by big drug and tobacco companies, and fended off a very tough challenger who was heavily financed by both the U.S. and West Virginia Chambers of Commerce.
We could go on, but you get the idea—our justice cup runneth over. Tuesday was a great day for civil justice lovers. Ha! Ha!