Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Professor Tony Sebok: Do Not Look to Obama or Senate for Civil Justice Reform

Professor Tony Sebok (Cardozo Law School) does not expect that Obama or the Senate will do much to implement liberal reforms in the area of civil justice litigation. In an essay on FindLaw, Sebok makes the following observation:

[W]hat do we know about Barack Obama's views of the civil justice system? He did not say very much on the campaign trail or in the debates, but then again, with the economy crashing and two wars, the issue did not come up very much. His campaign issued a brief one-and-a-half-page fact sheet on his views, which revealed very little.

What little Obama did say suggests that he thinks of himself as different from traditional Democrats (like John Edwards) in that he has broken with the trial lawyers' lobby. For instance, in the debates and in interviews, he proudly referred to his support of the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), which he voted for early in his Senate career, as evidence of his independence from the trial lawyers' lobby. CAFA moves class actions from state courts to federal courts, where, it is hoped, important questions like class certification will be treated more skeptically by federal judges than by state judges, who are often elected and beholden to "special interests. . . ."

Let us leave to one side the fact that many of the assumptions behind CAFA were false, and that there is no evidence that the law really has helped suppress "junk" lawsuits. The point is that, when it was proposed, the trial lawyers opposed it and Obama voted for it anyway. The problem is, so did a lot of other Democrats. In fact, by the time Obama voted for it, it was a done deal. His support was not courageous, and he took no heat for joining 71 other senators on the final vote.

For the full article, see: The Obama Administration's Likely Effect on Tort Law and the Civil Justice System Generally.

5 comments:

Adam Passey said...

If you are an honest LIBERAL, I can respect that. Cool aid thinking gets our country nowhere. I am against redefineing marriage. Old school family values of right and wrong, God and individual responsibilities are what is lacking today, not another hand out.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Hi, Adam. Thanks for dropping by. I appreciate honesty from all political stripes.

I am not sure why "redefining marriage" is something you oppose. A lot of people point to religion, but civil marriage is a governmental relationship. Churches will not have to perform any marriages that they do not officially recognize. Churches can even refuse to perform interracial marriages today - but the government cannot refuse to issue marriage licenses based on the race of the couple. Perhaps heterosexuals who oppose same-sex marriage want to keep that "handout" to themselves.

Adam Passey said...

Homosexuality is a risky behavior, riddled with many health issues. When one looks at the agenda of those who push the cultural acceptance of this, they control the school systems of both higher and lower education. When you place this is the same place as racial equality, you are doing a great disservice. If civil unions are desired, then by all means, lets agree. What the agenda of those pushing acceptance of this is cultural acceptance, and the persecution of those who disagree with them. If you disagree, please look at the attempts to harm the Boy Scouts. They are just the beginning.

What we need are more men fathering their children. Since the "new society" or "welfare state" especially those on the "bottom" have had their chances of being raised fatherless increased exponentially. For that, destructive patterns, which keep the children of those homes subjected to poverty, it keeps growing. How is increasing the number of times these children see homosexuality behavior, in their formative years, going to help them? Sexuality is a formative process. Mass media, especially, has hurt the idea that marrying and staying married is desirable.

Darren Lenard Hutchinson said...

Any unprotected sexual activity presents health risks. This is not limited to "homosexuality." In fact, if we did a comparision of STDs, lesbians probably have the LOWEST rate of transmission. So under your theory - we should promote lesbianism above all else.

Furthermore, if you would take the time to read my posts on gay rights, I have never equated race and sexuality. In fact, I insist thatcivil rights protection should not depend upon groups having identical experiences. Blacks do not have identical experiences within the class of black people. Nor do they have the same experiences as whites or Latinos - but civil rights laws protect all of these groups from racial discrimination. So why should gays have the same experiences as blacks to qualify for civil rights protection?

Furthermore, your use of the term "persecution" is very curious. Every time a group seeks civil rights,the majority claims some type of abuse. Slave owners said the same thing to abolitionists. There is no harm to you if gays and lesbians can get married. If you think I am wrong, please spell out how you are concretely harmed by this. Keep in mind that gays and lesbians have already married in the US; so by your argument, you are already harmed. Have you noticed how?

Finally, poverty is not caused by the absence of fathers. There are many poor fathers raising their kids with very little income. To reduce poverty to men and fathers is pretty simplistic. Furthermore, you imply that gay men cannot parent, which is divorced from reality. Are you arguing from emotion and supposition, rather than from what you have experienced personally?

Adam Passey said...

Forgive me if I left the impression that gay fathers are not capable of much good in fathering. Every father can and should be all that he can be.

As I was stating earlier, the real challenge is returning to the family values, the core of the traditions, that this country was and is, to a large degree, based on. The ways of supporting the concepts, of right and wrong, good and evil, are passing away with "liberal" teachers of cultural realativism. When the concept of "God" was allowed on college campuses, people sought for "truth", because it could be "discovered." It drove men like John Lock, Albert Eisnstein, Thomas Jefferson, etc to reach higher. Now, children who reach college are taught that in social sciences, truth does not exist: it is all culturally relative. Like it or not, the rise of America is the most productive in human history. Rather than abandon what has made her great, we should learn from the past, and not forget what we have done to achieve this greatness.

Psychologically, our society is becoming very destructive to raise children in. Forcing children to view more and more acts of homosexuality in school, media, and on the streets, please tell me how that will help them create stronger families for the next generation. For you who want to change societal standards, the burden of proof should rest on you. Right now no one should harm, or forceably stop anyone from choosing the lifestyle they want, but they want to force society to adopt their new norm on this behavior. Tell me how this helps raise children.

On the issue of fatherlessness, those boys who have no fathers in the home are far far more likely to use drugs, goto jail, etc. It is more so than race or economic status, in determining negetive outcomes for boys. Girls who do not have a loving father, involved in their lives, are much much more likely to be used as sex toys with boys, ie. they have much lower self esteems, in relationship to men and get "used" alot more. Before we destroy what a marriage have been considered for thousands of years, tell me how we help every couple, man and woman, be involved with each other for their full life expectancy. For children, that helps produce healthy, active, educated minds. In general terms, please direct your comments to these issues, or tell me you are not thinking that they are paramount in importance.

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