Lindsey Graham, Trial Lawyers’ Poodle
Under our insane and grotesquely unjust system of jackpot justice, individuals, businesses, and even whole industries can be looted to the point of ruin out of sheer sociopathic greed, like the victims of pirates or Vikings in the days of yore. As a consequence, we live in terror of being sued, making life less free and less fun than it once was. The reason this intolerable situation is not resolved through tort reform is that the never-ending looting spree has allowed trial lawyers to acquire vast sums of other people’s money, which they have used to purchase the Democrat Party — but not only the Democrat Party:
It’s good to be a Senator, especially if you are a Republican who is the most important opponent of tort reform on Capitol Hill. Witness the largesse that the plaintiffs bar is bestowing on South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham in its moment of maximum political peril.
On Thursday Mr. Graham was feted in Houston at a fundraiser hosted by Mark Lanier, who can afford it. The Lanier Law Firm has vacuumed up some $13 billion in tort verdicts over the years from Vioxx to asbestos. The invitation asks Mr. Lanier’s tort comrades to share their wealth to the tune of $500 to $5,400 for “Team Graham.”
Here’s why they shovel their ill-gotten lucre at Grahamnesty:
He’s long fought tort reform, and his legal friends have rewarded him with some $3.7 million over his 24-year Senate career.
The time has come for another round of payoffs; then they will call in their chits.
The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act would crack down on trial-attorney fees that are many times larger than the payout to the class of litigants they represent. The Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency Act would require the nation’s 60-some asbestos trusts to provide courts the records of trust payouts. This would reduce the plaintiffs bar practice of “double dipping”—secretly raiding the trusts while also pursuing claims via lawsuits. In court they claim the company they’re suing caused asbestos disease, but to the trusts they blame the defunct company financing the trust.
The purpose of a certain class of politicians is to keep corruption safe by stopping bills like these — for a cut.
Senator Graham is on the Judiciary Committee where Republicans hold a mere 11-9 majority. His defection on any tort bill would result in a tie that could kill it.
That makes Graham worth big bucks to the trial lawyers. How much he is worth to his constituents is another question. But money buys advertising, which moves the herd in the desired direction on election day.
Graham is yet another reason to repeal the 17th Amendment. He was meant to represent South Carolina as a political entity, not trial lawyers.
On tips from Varla and TED. Cross-posted at Moonbattery.