Lawsuit abuse is growing and represents a huge burden on consumers and our economy. That’s why FreedomWorks cheers the prospect of immediate Senate action on S. 5, the “Class Action Fairness Act”. The bill is scheduled to clear committee tomorrow and is expected to hit the Senate floor soon.
S. 5 is a major step towards stopping lawsuit abuse by limiting venue shopping by trial lawyers. Unscrupulous attorneys often bring cases to a handful of state ‘tort hellholes’ where judges and juries consistently produce unreasonable awards with national economic impact. This new legislation would move the largest cases to federal courts, where judges are better equipped to consider the national scope of each case.
The time to finally pass this reform is now. In both 2003 and 2004, the House of Representatives passed bipartisan legal reform with large majorities. Unfortunately, a liberal minority kept the legislation from coming to a vote in the Senate using the filibuster. Fortunately, the new Senate brings even broader support for legal reform, and S. 5 is expected to exceed the 60-vote threshold needed to stop a liberal filibuster.
FreedomWorks President Matt Kibbe commented:
“I salute the Senate and its leadership for their prompt action on this critical issue. Indeed, lawsuit abuse is one of the most important economic issues facing Congress and the nation. Frivolous lawsuits are driving up prices, forcing honest companies into bankruptcy, and putting people out of work. This bill will help bring justice back to America’s courts.”
“FreedomWorks urges the Senate not to water down this important reform with bad amendments. Already, Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) and Sen. Bingaman (D-NM) are considering measures that would weaken this bill’s ability to limit class action lawsuit abuse.”
“FreedomWorks will count the votes on S. 5 and amendments as KEY VOTES to be reported to our members. This KEY VOTE will be used to determine eligibility for our Jefferson Award, to be presented at the conclusion of the 109th Congress. This award is provided to those legislators who support the principles of limited government, lower taxes, and economic liberty.”