Political “tort reform” hypocrites, like House Speaker John Boehner who was featured earlier this week, may be a dime a dozen these days, but there's nothing like the sheer hypocritical gall of the Big Business community. While working throughout the nation to strip everyday Americans of their legal rights and immunize themselves for harming consumers, they’re constantly kicking down the courthouse doors to get in. To wit, check out The Blog of the Legal Times article yesterday about two new hires at the rabidly anti-civil justice yet audaciously hypocritical U.S. Chamber of Commerce's – wait for it – “National Chamber Litigation Center!”
It seems that two former Bush administration lawyers have been hired by the Chamber to “battle against Obama-era regulations” in light of “a tidal wave of regulatory burdens for business.” Said the National Chamber Litigation Center’s executive vice president, "The Chamber is really going to step up its activities in that area." That would be in addition to the 21 Supreme Court cases the Chamber is already involved with this term.
But wait again. Battling Obama-era regulations? Are they kidding? Just today, the Associated Press reports that the White House is making hundreds of regulatory changes “to ease regulatory burdens on business,” thanks to the Administration’s anti-regulatory cost-benefit czar Cass Sunstein. (See earlier coverage of Mr. Sunstein here.)
These changes include “eliminat[ing] requirements in some states for vapor recovery systems at gas stations,” “easing the amount of information doctors and hospitals must file to medical databases,” and “appl[ing] certain railroad safety equipment rules ‘only where they are actually needed.’” We’re guessing “never” might be the National Chamber Litigation Center’s view on this.
This makes us wonder if the National Chamber Litigation Center might also have behind the “thoughts” of these executives at Massey Energy, which was responsible for the Upper Big Branch mine explosion in April 2010 that killed 29 miners:
Executives of Massey Energy Co believed President Barack Obama had a secret agenda to bring down the coal company after 29 men were killed in an accident at one of its mines last year, a lawsuit shows.
The charge came in a class action suit by investors who seek to block Massey's pending $7 billion takeover by Alpha Natural Resources Inc as they press their claims for about $1 billion in losses from alleged Massey mismanagement.…
Last week, an independent inquiry into the April 2010 blast that killed 29 miners at Massey's Upper Big Branch coal mine in West Virginia concluded it could have been avoided and blamed it on safety failings. An inquiry by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA) is still pending.
In the suit unsealed in Delaware on Tuesday, the plaintiffs noted that for more than five years, "Massey has incurred record numbers of citations for serious safety hazards."
It said Don Blankenship, Massey's former chief executive, and Chairman Bobby Inman gave depositions in which they "firmly believed the company was being targeted by the government."
Inman, a former CIA deputy director, "was unequivocal in his assertions" that MSHA, unions, lawyers "and President Obama himself harbored a secret agenda to destroy Massey."
The large numbers of safety violations Massey received were proof of the conspiracy, according to the suit. Between 2005 and 2009, Massey's total safety violations increased from 4,698 to 10,653, while violations that posed a serious threat to worker safety increased from 54 to 246, the suit said.
That’s it. We’re speechless.