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POLITICS: Bush Pushes to Limit Class-Action Suits

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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 10:01 PM
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Bush is pressuring Congress to quickly pass a bill to shift class-action claims from state to federal courts, which are seen as friendlier to business. Called the "Class Action Fairness Act," the bill has been denounced by consumer groups including the AARP, environmental groups, labor and civil-rights groups, including the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, and a number of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee. Also fighting the measure are a coalition of 15 attorneys general, and state and federal judges. The bill is expected to pass.


 





President Bush pressured Congress on Wednesday to act swiftly to pass legislation restricting class-action lawsuits, arguing that "frivolous" claims harmed economic prosperity.

On Capitol Hill, senators debated and defeated a number of suggested amendments to the bill, known as the Class Action Fairness Act. The measure would move a significant number of consumer-protection suits and other class actions from state to federal courts, which are considered friendlier to business.

The bill, which came close to passing Congress last year, is on a fast track for Senate approval by the end of the week.

Business groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, strongly support the class-action legislation, which they claim will help prevent settlements in which lawyers collect huge fees while consumers get little or nothing.

Opponents say the bill would make it harder for ordinary citizens with limited resources to take on corporations with unfair business practices.

"In its current form, this bill is just another example of the administration's misguided priorities - putting the interests of big companies ahead of America's working families," said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.), who offered an amendment, which was defeated, that would have allowed civil rights and labor lawsuits to stay in state court.

latimes
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...critics claim the bill would make it too difficult for wronged citizens to have their day in court and see justice meted out. On Monday, attorneys general of 15 states sent a letter to the Senate leadership arguing that the bill as it stands would "result in far greater harm than good."

"If you're a community that's suffering from groundwater contamination or an oil spill or a tank explosion or air contamination from nearby factory farms, you may have to wait for years to even get your case heard, much less be given a fair chance from an unbiased judge to have your injuries redressed."

Mulhern argues that the Bush administration is rigging the judicial system so it's harder for citizens to hold corporate culprits accountable on the full gamut of civil concerns - not just environment and public health, but also consumer protection, civil rights, and labor issues. "It's that sweeping," she said.

Howls of protest are being heard from environmental activists, labor and civil-rights groups, including the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, and a number of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee, including Sen. Richard Durbin (Ill.), who said during a hearing on the bill last week, "This isn't the Class Action Fairness Act - this is the Class Action Moratorium Act."

Class Action Moratorium




Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


This bill takes legal power away from states, gives it to the federal courts, and makes federal big government bigger.





The National Conference of State Legislatures said the proposed civil justice reform "undermines our system of federalism, disrespects our state court system, and ... sends a disturbing message to the American people" that state courts cannot be trusted.

For some months, a coalition of 13 attorneys general, including New York's Eliot Spitzer, has been hammering away against the move as unfair. Also fighting the measure are state and federal judges, and a host of consumer groups, including the AARP.

A Serious Misnomer: The Class Action Fairness Act




The so-called "Class Action Fairness Act" passed the Senate today, and now is going back to Congress. Bush has asked Conress to move it through quickly.

At one time, Republicans valued the autonomy of individual states and fought against the federal government usurping state powers. No longer. The Republican party has changed. Now it supports big government and international corporations instead of freedom for ordinary people.


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[edit on 10-2-2005 by soficrow]




posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 10:44 PM
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I was in a Class-Action lawsuit once. After about 3 years, I got a check in the mail for $0.52. Yes, 52 cents. Yippy! I can buy a pack of gum. I bet it cost them more to print and mail the check.

The business went out of business. People surely lost jobs.

I bet the sorry [explitive deleted] lawyers got a lot more than 52 cents.



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 10:52 PM
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Originally posted by Ambient Sound
I was in a Class-Action lawsuit once. After about 3 years, I got a check in the mail for $0.52.
I bet the sorry [explitive deleted] lawyers got a lot more than 52 cents.





So obviously, we should dismantle our court system along with our civil rights. ...I don't think so.



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posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 10:56 PM
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Once again, Bush is showing his true colors and diverging from the philosophy of the Republican party. Shouldn't civil suits stay in state courts, after all, shouldn't we keep as much power in the state according to Republican philosophy?

Bush is increasing the power of the federal government more and more every week. I can't believe people call him a Republican. This guy is more socialist than John Kerry, how can people not see it?



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 11:05 PM
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I'm not against class action lawsuits in general, but they should be limited to $100 billion NET per plaintiff, after the $9.50/hr the lawyers deserve. I think that's fair considering products and byproducts of corporate America kill more people every year than terrorism does..by a factor of ???? The figure is enormous, and entirely unknowable until money and the influence of powerful people are removed from our medical insitution and product safety watchdogs. The list of their crimes is long and I won't go into it, the victims are precious to us and I will mention them because sometimes we forget. Our soil, our air, our children, our sacred institutions and ideals. The powerful junkies who rule our land have defiled just about everything that made it great. Even our economy, the last bastion of the capitalist ego, is flying third class and eyeing the escape hatch at 50,000 feet.

There is a tide coming. It will sweep away all that was built in error, or it will lap harmlessly against the strong walls of a new, responsible society that cherishes logic and fairness. I think it's pretty much up to each and every one of us to be a part of that change, one way or another. This country MUST change, because in its current state, it is unsustainable. Maybe it was ever since the foundation was poured, so to speak. I don't know. What I do know; this country was rich in resources, stocked with game, had clean water, and arrable soil as far as the eye could see in every direction. Look around you. Do you want to live in hell or heaven?



posted on Feb, 10 2005 @ 11:56 PM
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Originally posted by Jamuhn
Once again, Bush is showing his true colors and diverging from the philosophy of the Republican party. Shouldn't civil suits stay in state courts, after all, shouldn't we keep as much power in the state according to Republican philosophy?

Bush is increasing the power of the federal government more and more every week. I can't believe people call him a Republican. This guy is more socialist than John Kerry, how can people not see it?

I was going to clip part of this quote- but I can't.

National Socialist= Bush business/legal agenda.

    government is bigger than ever,
    revamp Social Security,
    law suits are to be limited,
    HMOs are protected,
    class-actions to Federal Court,

One day those Republican Congressmen will wake up and say- 'hey, I have to run for re-elcetion in 2006, hmmm'


Bushco is trying to dismantle every social program in America not invented by a Republican. American Blacks should be thankful that Lincoln was a Republican.

.
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posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 01:08 AM
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Opponents say the bill would make it harder for ordinary citizens with limited resources to take on corporations with unfair business practices.


That is exactly what this is all about.I also can see this potentially being used by pharmaceutical/insurance companies when the next Vioxx type scandal emerges to limit paying out fair settlements to the afflicted.It also seems to place a value on something as subjective as pain & suffering or life itself.


Also isn't this the very definition of frivolous?


In 1999, Bush sued Enterprise Rent-A-Car over a minor fender-bender involving one of his daughters in which no one was hurt. Although his insurance would have covered the repair costs, making a lawsuit unnecessary, Bush sought additional money from Enterprise, which had rented a car to someone with a suspended license. In this case, Bush seemed to understand one of the most important functions of civil lawsuits -- to deter further wrongdoing. The case settled for $2,000 to $2,500."


archive.salon.com...



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 01:11 AM
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Mad Cow lawsuits, prion lawsuits will make Vioxx look like a tap on the jaw. The companies responsible will be hurt, bad. Under current law, the American people might be able to take back their country, they could sue for so much. Get your lawsuits in early folks, there's gonna be lots of them.



posted on Feb, 11 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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Originally posted by WyrdeOne
Mad Cow lawsuits, prion lawsuits will make Vioxx look like a tap on the jaw. The companies responsible will be hurt, bad. Under current law, the American people might be able to take back their country, they could sue for so much. Get your lawsuits in early folks, there's gonna be lots of them.



NOW you're seeing what's at stake here - and why the administration is working so very hard to protect "corporate rights."






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posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 11:22 PM
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Gimme more- more


I still don't get the prion thing.

I'm slow, help me out.



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 11:32 PM
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Originally posted by JoeDoaks
Gimme more- more


I still don't get the prion thing.

I'm slow, help me out.



Oh shoot! Don't ask me hard questions at the end of the day!


For more info on prions, go to:

Mad Cow Madness


...after you read that and have a chance to think about it, you will see that this so-called "Class Action Fairness Act" will work to protect international drug and chemical manufacturers from liability lawsuits - because they created prions and released them into our environment. ...That's how they got into our food and water - and why so many people are sick.

...Of course, that's not the whole story - but it's enough for now.



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[edit on 13-2-2005 by soficrow]



posted on Feb, 12 2005 @ 11:37 PM
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I think this will bring more abuse by corporations, even they need to be under control, after all they are for profits not for the people.

I don't like this, this will bring more abuses.

The corporate world has already to much power over the citizens of this country.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 10:37 AM
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The ability to file class action lawsuits is one of our last remaining civil rights, and about the only defense small people have against big international corporations. ...If this law passes, we'll be at their mercy.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 03:43 PM
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When real, non-frivolous suits are in question, of course it is easier to corrupt and control a streamlined Federal Court than to be worried about all kinds of outcomes in 50 States.

When Bush "pressures" "to act quickly" you can already smell the festering rot.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 04:07 PM
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The Nature Of The Debate

I'm opposed to almost anything expanding federal jurisdiction for almost any reason.

Federal power has already gone way beyond the legal limits explicitly enumerated in the Constitution, and the legitimate governments of the states (you know, the "S" in "U.S.") have already been disenfranchised for almost a century (senators used to represent state governments, back when this was a republic – now no one does).

Having said that, I always take interest when the following usual suspects fire up their propaganda mills:


Originally posted by soficrow
the bill has been denounced by consumer groups including the AARP, environmental groups, labor and civil-rights groups, including the AFL-CIO and the NAACP, and a number of Democrats on the Judiciary Committee.

In other words, this is a struggle between power blocs.

As for hurting the “little people”, here's a clue: anyone who refers to you as “the masses” or the “little guy” doesn't give a tinker's damn about you and never has.

This is about which fat cats get fatter, and nothing more or less.

Some cats will be happy with this, others won't, but they're all way too fat either way.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 04:11 PM
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Originally posted by Majic
The Nature Of The Debate

I'm opposed to almost anything expanding federal jurisdiction for almost any reason.





So are you for it, against it or still thinking? Sorry, didn't quite get that part.




MaskedAvatar

When real, non-frivolous suits are in question, of course it is easier to corrupt and control a streamlined Federal Court than to be worried about all kinds of outcomes in 50 States.

When Bush "pressures" "to act quickly" you can already smell the festering rot.





...Not a good plan for us, IMO.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 05:33 PM
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A Not-So-Fine Distinction


Originally posted by soficrow
So are you for it, against it or still thinking? Sorry, didn't quite get that part.

I am opposed to the expansion of federal jurisdiction in this case.

I support revisions to both the federal and state codes of law to reduce the rampant and unjust abuses of them.

Such revisions, however, cannot be properly accomplished by one-size-fits-all caps or other expedients, but by writing laws properly in the first place.

That's what legislators are supposed to do.

Based on what I have read about the Class Action Fairness Act, I see no reason why I should support it.

In practice, the opinion of a guy like me doesn't amount to a hill of beans in this town.

Or in this case: on this bloc.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 05:42 PM
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Originally posted by Majic

Based on what I have read about the Class Action Fairness Act, I see no reason why I should support it.

In practice, the opinion of a guy like me doesn't amount to a hill of beans in this town.

Or in this case: on this bloc.



...But it's about your final assumption: I know you know assumptions are the death knell for intellectual freedom.



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 06:57 PM
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Originally posted by soficrow
So obviously, we should dismantle our court system along with our civil rights. ...I don't think so.


Let me ask you something...... Since so many people in here like to give examples of European countries......Do you know what kind of lawsuits happen in Europe? none that i know of......

A cousin of mine came to the states to visit me three years ago from Spain, and i still remember when he asked me what a lawsuit was when he heard it on tv over here. I told him what it was, and that a supermarket in the states is liable if there is water spilled on the floor and a customer falls to the floor because of it. Of course being from Spain he told me the supermarket should not be liable for that, and you know what? i agreed with him. i asked him if this happens in Spain, i left when i was 17 years old and wasn't up to date about everything that was happening in Spain back then, he said that would never happen in Spain since lawsuits don't exist.

Too many people take advantage of lawsuits and live off fraudulent claims.
However, there are some claims that are real and because of this some lawsuits should be legal while others shouldn't. There are people in the states that have two and three lawsuits pending in their benefit.... I really think in many cases lawsuits have become a joke...


[edit on 13-2-2005 by Muaddib]



posted on Feb, 13 2005 @ 07:03 PM
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Originally posted by Muaddib

Originally posted by soficrow
So obviously, we should dismantle our court system along with our civil rights. ...I don't think so.


.....Do you know what kind of lawsuits happen in Europe? none that i know of......




What has happened here is that civil liberties are being eroded and dismantled, and the only avenue left to address issues is through the civil courts - that's what being blocked.




I really think in many cases lawsuits have become a joke...



many people do think that - but unfortunately, it's the last line of defense left to protect the Bill of Rights and Constitution.



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