Presidential Candidate Perry Attacks Founding Fathers, States’ Rights, and Jury Trials

Our Illinois medical malpractice lawyers know that as the election season gets closer and closer, the news will be filled with more instances of candidates discussing tort reform related issues. Over the years we have come to expect these exchanges on the topic to be filled with inaccurate information, contradictory claims, and misguided analysis of legal issue-often focused specifically on medical malpractice. Sadly this cycle appears to be no different.

For example, earlier this month during the Tea Party Express debate, one of the apparent frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination, Texas Governor Rick Perry, explained that tort reform was “some powerful job creation” and nothing that he would encourage the passage of “federal tort reform at those federal levels.” Blog readers are aware that this proposed federalization of tort reform measures has been kicked around the capitol dome for the last year in the form of H.R. 5.

Of course, per usual, these comments by Governor Perry represent a jumbled, hypocritical understanding of what tort reform actually means and what effects it has on those involved in the process. For one thing, in making these comments Governor Perry is ignoring the thoughts of at least seven leading conservative constitutional experts who explain how new federal rules which dictate this issue to states is an unconstitutional abridgements of those states’ rights. Even some of the most conservative members of Congress have explained how they also believe that these legal issues must be decided at the state level and not handed down on high from the federal government. This is not even including the position expressly stated by the National Conference of State Legislators which argued that Congress should not enact federal tort reform because of its interference with state action.

Of course, these statements attacking “trial lawyers” and bashing the legal system may stir a riled up political audience, but they ignore the importance of the civil trial system throughout the nation’s history. One need only briefly examine the position of the nation’s founding fathers to get an idea of the role these patriots enshrined for the civil legal system. Thomas Jefferson claimed that jury trials are “the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.” It is shocking that those who pretend to stand for a return to the values of our nation’s earliest leaders are so misguided about those founder’s beliefs about the role of juries in the system.

The only other explanation is that these political leaders remain unaware of what tort reform actually means. It might be convenient to think that the “reform” will simply make all medical malpractice lawsuits go away. Of course, the root of the “reform” is the taking away of the power of a jury to decide matters in a case and instead creating random rules that dictate outcomes in all case. It is the exact opposite of the rights so highly valued by the Founders of letting impartial juries decide these issues. Our Illinois medical malpractice attorneys are committed to fighting these inaccurate statements, misrepresentations, and downright dangerous suggestions.

See Our Related Blog Posts:

Legal Experts Line Up Against H.R. 5

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