Thursday, February 17, 2005

Class-action lawyers take one in the gut

This seems like excellent news: Congress OKs Law on Class-Action Suits:
Congress sent President Bush legislation Thursday aimed at discouraging multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuits by having federal judges take them away from state courts, a victory for conservatives who hope it will lead to other lawsuit limits.
Under the legislation, class-action suits seeking $5 million or more would be heard in state court only if the primary defendant and more than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state. But if fewer than one-third of the plaintiffs are from the same state as the primary defendant, and more than $5 million is at stake, the case would go to federal court.
Here's a couple of whiner quotes for your enjoyment:
The legislation is "a payback to big business at the expense of consumers," said House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"It's the final payback to the tobacco industry, to the asbestos industry, to the oil industry, to the chemical industry at the expense of ordinary families who need to be able go to court to protect their loved ones when their health has been compromised," said Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass.
And yet, there seems to be very little blogger buzz about it, and no real squealing from the Democrats (notwithstanding the whining quoted here).

Very strange.

I guess one of two things must be true:
  • The legislation doesn't hurt the lawsuit industry that much.
  • President Bush has so much excess political power (at least on this issue) that it's not even worth it for the Democrats to fight.
I wonder which one it is.

UPDATE: Thomas Lifson, PoliPundit and Pardon My English (via Decision '08) notice!