How to Lose Weight Fast But Safely

How to Lose Weight Fast… This idea, this desire resonates within the whole diet industry.

It also creates amongst this industry an urge to feed this need you might have… with anything they can label “lose weight fast”.

And then to TRICK you into buying it.

1 – First, There are Things You Need to Know

2 – Set Up Your Path

Then Set Up a Customized Path, tailored for successfully Losing Weight Fast. You Will Find the Framework to succeed in our How To Lose Weight Guide.

Then adjust your Options like this so this How To fits the “Fast ” Weight Loss requirements that give the best results :

Key 1 – Take Control

  • Focus on your weight loss at least 15 minutes each day. Chose your meals in advance before buying.
  • We’re not about making you spend money, but a fast weight loss product with proven record can double or triple your Weight Loss rate.
  • No way to avoid taking medical advice, because in losing weight fast, losing weight hits harder on your body.
  • Rather get your fridge and home of transformed and bad food, and plan your meals and shopping with healthy food.

Key 2 – Move

  • Go to the Gym 3-4 times a week. Go for Strengh Training (to avoid getting a skinny but fast result)
  • Do Cardio training. Raise progressively the time up to  3 times 45 minutes.

Key 3 – Feed Your Emotions

  • Be careful on this one. The harder your diet and program, and the more emotional sustaining you will need.
  • Use Hypnosis CDs or Self Hypnosis on a daily basis
  • Learn to use NLP techniques (submodalities to lessen hunger, augment well-being, heighten motivation, and relax)
  • Be ready to stand against the hunger when you will lessen quantities (it’s a matter of holding a few days), and the three-days compulsion to eat transformed food when you eat some
  • Enforce your will (ready some healthy food like fruits and spouts for the moments you will feel the need to eat

Key 4 – Watch Nutrition Quality

  • No way you can go fast if you take any bad food. Get rid of sodas, and limit transformed / white food to the BARE minimum.
  • Drink a lot of water and take weight loss pills like Phen24.
  • Assure a good level of protein.
  • Lessen salt.
  • Ensure taht at least 40% of what you eat are fruits & vegetables.

Key 5 – Adjust Nutrition Quantity

  • Really Stick to Avoid Backlash : eat of everything

Key 6 – Watch over Nutrition Regularity

  • Eat every 3 hours (lesser quantities), and nothing except water in between
  • Really Stick to Avoiding Backlash : eat of everything (except Bad Food)

Key 7 – Unfolding the Path You Set Up

  • Pilot yourself every day.
  • Chose carefully your objectives, and with qualified  medical advice. Aiming over 5 pounds per week Weight Loss endangers your health, and programs some BackLash : there will be a price.
  • Yet take 3 to 7 days to get to your diet rythm progressively (it is safer in the end and avoids Backlash)
  • Read every day your Vision Scenery everyday, to put up your objectives every day.

Now you know How to Lose Weight Fast, and you know it is within your reach.

Be careful, be focused on it, stick to your process and to good emotions.

Enjoy !

Diet FAQ

I have been asked a lot of questions about the healthy side of loosing weight. This page lists the top dieting questions. I will add pertinent healthy diet questions as they come in. So you might save some time by checking this page before you send an email.

Question: Should I see my doctor before dieting?

Answer: Absolutely! It is important to see your doctor for a consultation before starting any diet and exercise program + PhenQ. Do not run the risk of injury or possible health impairment believing you can move forward without an evaluation by a licensed health care practitioner.

Question: What is the best healthy way to lose weight?

Answer: Have a medical evaluation, reduce your caloric intake and increase your daily physical activity. How much and how fast you lose weight depends on several factors. However, the primary foundation of effective diet programs includes diet and exercise. The diet program I recommend that effectively incorporates these principles is Strip That Fat.

Question: Are all diets really safe?

Answer: The general answer is no. It depends on the type of diet and regimen followed. A high protein and low carbohydrate diet will cause you to lose weight. However, it should be used only for a short term weight loss because of the possible health complications if used long term. The food you choose for protein is very important and what carbohydrates you do use should be high in fiber. If your diet plan does not include all food groups you could miss out on essential minerals and vitamins. If your diet calls for less than 2,000 calories per day it is almost impossible to get all the necessary nutrients.

Question: What diet program do you recommend and why?

Answer: I recommend Strip That Fat because of the foundational strategy is sound and realistic. First, since there may be foods you don’t like, you have the choice to eat the foods you do like. I remember one diet I tried that required you to eat miniature spinach quiches for breakfast. I think that was the last time I held my breath while eating. It was horrible for me.

Next, regardless of your size it utilizes exercise regimens that anyone can do. And since it seems there is never enough time in the day it includes exercises suitable for your busy schedule.

And finally the program focuses on long term weight loss. Oh, you will have significant short term loss, but unlike most diets Strip That Fat will give you long term weight loss and weight management. You can read my full review here.

Question: Can I lose weight without exercising?

Answer: Yes, by reducing your calories, BUT chances are you may gain all the weight back and then some. Been there done that. I lost 20 pounds on a popular diet, not exercising, but surrendered to the temptation of foods I missed and gained back more than I lost in a short period of time. Exercising your bodies large muscle groups is essential metabolic control and weight loss. Regular exercise results in many health benefits aside from weight loss. Choose a diet plan that includes a regimen of exercise and healthy eating.

Question: What is the relationship between metabolism and weight loss?

Answer: Contrary to popular belief a slow metabolism is rarely the cause for excessive weight gain. It is your physical activity and what you eat and drink that determines how much you weigh. Metabolism has to do with processing what you consume and turns it into energy for the body. It combines the calories from you food and drink with oxygen to release the energy your body needs to function. Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is the number of calories your body needs to do these basic functions. Of course, your size, gender and age are involved in determining your BMR.

Question: Does low thyroid activity affect weight loss?

Answer: Experts tell us that an under active thyroid could be a physiological barrier to losing weight. If so all the popular weight loss programs will not work for you. Regardless how hard you work if you have an under active thyroid you will lose little, if any, weight. The good news about low thyroid activity is it is easily treated. However, undiagnosed and not treated over time problems will arise. A simple blood test by your physician can accurately diagnose low thyroid activity. Symptoms of low thyroid activity include puffy face, hand and feet along with constantly feeling tired & fatigue, mood swings of varying degrees, joint pain and muscle aches, gain weight easily, depressed and anxious, easily irritated, memory problems and not able to think clearly.

Question: Can I eat my favorite dessert and then just burn it off with exercise?

Answer: Not really. There is a well known National League baseball player that would get on the treadmill to burn 300 calories so he could so he could jump off and eat his favorite chocolate chip cookie. Actually, your favorite dessert could equal hours of exercise because of the way carbohydrates are assimilated in the body. The bottom line, it is easier to not eat 300 calories than to burn 300 calories.

Question: What role does water play in weight loss?

Answer: Good hydration is vital to maintaining a healthy body. Choosing water instead of a sugar or caffeine beverage will help you lose weight. Experts say a person should drink at least eight glasses of water a day. For me I believe the volume of water depends on your size and physical activity. The important point is, don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink…you are already dehydrated at that point. Drinking lots of water helps reduce the feeling of hunger.

Question: Can drinking coffee help me lose weight?

Answer: According to the Mayo Clinic website you should keep in mind that caffeine is a stimulant and too much can cause nervousness, insomnia and other problems. Also, some caffeinated beverages, such as specialty coffees, are high in calories and fat. So instead of losing weight, you might actually gain weight.

Question: How can I get rid of belly fat?

Answer: Your belly or abdominals is comprised of six muscles, five of which are interior and generally not visible; however, all have a function in our trunk area movement and posture. It is the superficial rectus abdominis muscle that gives the six pack appearance when you are physically fit. It can become more defined by doing sit-ups, leg-lifts and other exercises. However, you must remove the fat from your stomach in front of this abdominal muscle so it can be seen. The old adage, ‘you are what you eat’ is never more true than in a regimen to become physically fit. You must learn which foods add fat and which burn fat, when to eat, and how much to eat.

Question: What is “weight cutting”?

Answer: Weight cutting generally refers to the practice of rapid weight loss by athletes before a sporting competition. This is particularly true in sports that have different levels of competition with qualifying weight restrictions. Usually a burst diet is followed and/or water weight is lost just before completing. Nutritionists do not recommend this  for the normal dieter desiring long term weight loss.

An Ultimate Guide to SEO services

Gone are the days when people spend money on the flyers and brochures. Nowadays, most of the people are promoting their business via the online commercial website. It is really beneficial because one will able to increase the sale of a business within a few days. Did you know thousands of international brands are available on Facebook and Instagram? With the help of a business page, they are promoting their business. It is really beneficial because one can create a strong presence of a business. Therefore, you should always hire an SEO professional for further tasks.

SEO contains a lot of things such as white hat, Blackhat and Gray hat services.  Most of the professionals are making the use of white hat services that is a little bit slower but improving the rank of the website genuinely.  Let’s discuss the important details about SEO services.

  • The big picture

Are you familiar with SEO services? Nowadays, SEO has become an integral part of every website. It is really beneficial that will optimize your official website properly. Within a few days, you will grab your website in the Frontpage.  All things depend on the relevance, like if professional is posting the organic content on the official website then surely it will attract a lot of viewers.

  • Authority of the domain

It is one of the most important tasks that will give you an estimate about ranking.  It is really beneficial that is known as the proprietary score. Most of the users of the website are checking the Authority of the domain. If you have a strong authority of domain, then you can attract more traffic. All things depend on the quality links. It would be beneficial during the guest post articles.

  • On-site Optimization

It is the main part of the SEO services. With the help of onsite optimization, one will able to witness the improvement in ranking. Make sure that you are using the best keyword that is related to your website. After that, one has to post the relevant or organic content on the official website. However, if you don’t have knowledge about SEO services, then https://designful.ca would be a beneficial website for you.

  • Link building

In some respects, most of the people are making the use of Link building articles. It is the best option that will attract traffic from the other website.

Apart from that, you should always use white hat SEO techniques because it will improve the rank within a few days.

Texas Legislature Might Make Bad Loser Pays Bill Even Worse



On December 15, I posted about a bill proposed by Texas Governor Rick Perry to force a losing plaintiff in a civil suit pay all legal costs for the defendant, a revolutionary step away from the American rule, in effect for over 200 years, to the British rule of “Loser Pays.” I discussed the reasons why Texans should reject such a move. Now I hear that the Texas legislature might make a bad bill even worse. Attorney Steve Waldman of Houston sent the following to his e-mail list this week:

The initial “Loser Pays” bill applied only to “abusive civil actions.” However, a jury finding against a plaintiff might also find the lawsuit “an abuse of the civil justice process,” which was all it took to bankrupt both the plaintiff and his lawyer. Such a law would scare plaintiffs with legitimate claims away from filing lawsuits. The new version of “Loser Pays”… permits defendants to recover their litigation costs in all lawsuits, not just “abusive civil actions.” It throws small businesses under the bus by including breach of contract cases. The new law also allows for unlimited recovery of costs against winning or losing plaintiffs, meaning a plaintiff can win a lawsuit and owe the defendant money! Any plaintiff – winner or loser – can be forced into bankruptcy!

Steve sent me the original version of the bill, and the newer (and worse) version. I invite Texas attorneys and other “7th Amendment advocates” there to review the bills, then contact your state representatives and tell them to reject the entire concept. It’s a smack in the face of the Founding Fathers’ vision for the right to have a local jury hear a citizens’ claims, since it erects economic barriers to the filing of a suit. I’ll bet Texas doesn’t make it more expensive for its citizens to bear arms in self-defense!

The other strange aspect of this issue in Texas is the inaction of two important groups of attorneys in Texas. First, the state bar association hasn’t issued an official statement for or against the bill; and second, the official association of Texas defense attorneys seems to be all over the ballpark on it. The defense attorneys were against the original bill but are apparently happy with the revised version. Little do they realize that “tort reforming” away civil suits not only abridges unalienable rights, but eventually reduces the need for defense attorneys.

And where are the Tea Party groups in Texas? Why aren’t they raising hell about the business community stripping Texans of their rights?!

I’ve already posted several times on the impact of limits in Texas law on medical malpractice lawsuits. A sweeping “Loser Pays” statute is a clear and present danger to Texans, and they should tell their legislators to reject it.

Victims of Iranian Terrorism Urge Senate to Hold Iran Responsible for Murder of 241 American Servicemen



There is ONE bill in the U.S. Senate that takes $1.8 billion of Iran’s funds stored in a U.S. account and reserves them to compensate Iran’s American terrorism victims. The Iran sanctions bill now under consideration by the Senate has one special section, co-sponsored by Senators Mark Kirk and Robert Menendez and supported by Senators of both parties. Section 503 would compensate the American victims of Iranian terrorism and keep Iran from using the funds to build nuclear weapons and fund terrorism. But a big Wall Street firm is working behind the scenes to stop the Senate from helping the victims. The families of our servicemen killed or wounded by Iranian terrorism need your help!

Some history: Iranian terrorists killed 241 of our servicemen, and injured many more, in the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. For years, the 1300 survivors and families of those killed have sought justice in American courts for that attack, and were ultimately awarded a judgment in federal court of over $2.6 billion against Iran. Their attorneys then identified and attached an account of $1.8 billion in Iranian central bank funds in a bank in NYC to satisfy that judgment. Then the families of the servicemen killed in the 1996 Iranian bombing of the Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia won a judgment and now stand to share in that account.

But without special legislation, the order freezing the funds could be lifted, possibly enabling Iran to recover the money. Lynn Smith Derbyshire, whose brother was killed in the barracks bombing and is now national spokesperson for the Beirut Marine families, says, “The Government of Iran will continue to do everything it can to hurt Americans. We see no reason to enable Tehran’s campaign of terror. Allowing the Iranian Government to get this frozen money back would do just that.” Section 503 of the Iran sanctions bill, which is numbered S. 2101, was approved by the Senate Banking Committee on February 2 and awaits Senate floor action.

But a Wall Street powerhouse, the Depository Trust and Clearing Corporation (“DTCC”), opposes Section 503 and is trying to kill it behind closed doors. DTCC works with financial institutions from around the world to ensure that financial transactions clear smoothly and quickly. But one of DTCC’s business partners is Clearstream, a European financial institution at the heart of the transfer of Iran’s funds into New York City. Intentionally or not, DTCC is, in effect, trying to help Clearstream recover the $1.8 billion in Iran’s funds, by sending high-priced Washington lobbyists into Congressional offices to “amend” the bill. Their “amendments” could actually kill the families’ pursuit of justice and enable Iran to recover the $1.8 billion.

It’s time for the Senate to shut the door on DTCC and support the families of our terrorism victims. No other bill before the Senate actually takes Iran’s money and reserves it for Iran’s American victims. The Beirut Marine families are urging Americans to contact Senators to support Section 503 of S. 2101 without DTCC’s “poison pills” and approve it in the Senate quickly.

Religious Liberty Isnt Subject to Obamas Fairness Doctrine



Catholic churches and Catholic-based social services groups have filed lawsuits throughtout America to defend religious liberty from President Obama’s mandate to pay for abortion-inducing, baby-killing drugs, in violation of official Church teachings. For the first time in American history, a President is trying to impose a narrow definition of “religious institution,” in order to implement a political agenda. The definition could force the closure of Catholic-based services organizations, such as AIDS clinics, schools, and hospitals. If successful, the mandate would serve as the template for Uncle Sam to define any religious organization as it sees fit, and dictate hiring, financial, and all organizational decisions.

All this is lost on Obama, who apparently sees his mission as telling the churches and all of the religions in the U.S. how to operate or face closure. Now he has created, out of thin air, a new constitutional standard for religious liberty. In an interview with a New Orleans TV station, Obama said it’s “not fair” for the Catholic Church to deny abortion-inducing, baby-killing drugs to its employees. Somehow this former professor of Constitutional law thinks that he can dictate a Fairness Doctrine on Catholics and any other church in America. Where did he make this up?

Our Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their graves. They knew that religious liberty was the reason why many left England, and in the First Amendment they defended the right of all faiths to practice in accordance with their own doctrines. And they practoced what they enshrined in law. The first Catholic Bishop in the U.S., John Carroll, was a close friend of George Washington and sought, at Washington’s request, to persuade the French to provide assistance to the colonies seeking freedom from England. And Washington, though not a Catholic, donated the first funds to build the first Catholic church in Alexandria, Virginia, near his home at Mount Vernon.

Fortunately, the Founders created a civil justice system and protected the right to seek justice before a local jury. Many of the Catholic groups have exercised that right, protected under the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution, to ask a local jury to hear their cases. They don’t want to entrust their precious, God-given right to a federal judge nominated by any President.

Senate Bill Amends Some Maritime Liability Limits But Still Obstructs 7th Amendment Rights



The most recent Senate proposal to change maritime liability limits in response to the Deepwater Horizon disaster is a departure from the clear lifting of maritime liability immunities that the U.S. House passed on July 1 through the “SPILL Act,” H.R. 5503. In an effort to persuade Senators from those states with strong commercial shipping and fishing interests, Senate leadership introduced S. 3663, the Clean Energy Job and Oil Company Accountability Act of 2010, which folds changes in maritime liability law into a broader energy bill. First, the good news about those sections in the Senate bill that end decades of discrimination between sea-based and land-based accidents:

1. The bill amends the Death on the High Seas Act to enable families to recover non-pecuniary losses, such as for the loss of a loved one and a decedent’s pre-death pain and suffering, for victims of negligence on sea-based oil rigs and cruise ships. Victims of land-based oil rig accidents have never faced the federal limit in DOHSA suffered by sea-based victims, and this bill would end the inequitable treatment.

2. The bill repeals the maritime punitive damages ratio established in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, 128 S.Ct. 2605 (2008), which unfairly limited punitive damages in general maritime law to a 1:1 ratio with compensatory damages.

3. The bill exempts oil spill claims from the liability limit under the Limitation on Liability Act.

Now for the bad news:

1. The Senate bill leaves the Jones Act intact and doesn’t enable seamens’ surviving family members to recover noneconomic damages for loss of care, comfort and companionship. This unfairly discriminates between workers in land-based shipping, who face no artificial federal liability limit, and seamen, who would continue to see their 7th Amendment rights obstructed by this special interest legislation.

2. The Senate bill completely exempts commercial fishing from any change in liabilitity limits. The CDC annually reports that commercial fishing is the most dangerous job in America, yet the bill discriminates against them. Commerical fishermen would thus also continue to see their 7th Amendment rights obstructed.

3. The bill doesn’t repeal LOLA, not even for personal injuries and wrongful deaths,but merely increases the liability limit to an amount equal to three times the value of the vessel. But a maritime oil rig is completely worthless after it sinks, as indicated in a federal court filing by Transocean, claiming a rig value equal only to the costs of raising it from the ocean floor. By not repealing LOLA, the bill leaves open the possibility that the families of Deepwater Horizon workers killed in the rig explosion will receive no compensation. In essence, they might be able to exercise their 7th Amendment rights, but without an equitable remedy.

Few or no Republicans support S. 3663, because of the energy legislation in it. A month after seeing a voice vote on the floor of the House in support of the SPILL Act, we now have little momentum to pass this Senate bill or any other which would assist the BP victims and end the discriminatory maritime liability limits, a huge letdown. Here is a summary of the bill and a section-by-section analysis.

Sen Rand Paul Clarence Thomas 10th Amendment Advocates Agree on Commerce Clause Abuse



When he addressed conservatives at CPAC last week, Sen. Rand Paul discussed the abuse of the Commerce Clause is at the heart of the pro-tort reform movement, and which is on view again especially this week with the continued markup of H.R. 5 by the House Judiciary Committee. Here are Sen. Paul’s comments:

Early on in my campaign I stopped by a book publisher in Shepherdsville, Ky. It’s near Louisville. This book publisher had published Barry Goldwater’s “The Conscience of a Conservative,” the first edition… Barry Goldwater mentions one Supreme Court case in that book: Wicker v. Filburn, many know it. A farmer in California wants to grow 20 acres of wheat. The government says you can only grow 10 acres of wheat. He said, by what authority do you tell me this? And they say, the Commerce Clause, and he said, well, I’m not even going to sell the wheat. I’m going feed it to my cattle, and they say to him, well, by your inactivity, by not doing anything, can you indirectly affect the price of wheat, and they enforce this. That ruling was in the ’40s. For 60 and 70 years now we’ve been working with this notion that the Commerce Clause says that our government can do anything. Until Obamacare came along.

They scoffed at us when we said it wasn’t constitutional. Nancy Pelosi looked like a deer in the headlights; she couldn’t believe that anyone would question the constitutionality. Judge Napolitano asked Representative Clyburn about the constitutionality and Representative Clyburn readily admitted, most of the things we do in Washington have no constitutional authority. It is amazing and appalling.

This Supreme Court case that will be more, about much more than health care. It’s going to be about whether or not we believe that our government should be restrained by the Constitution. I think for 60 or 70 years we’ve been gradually going down this road of becoming more of a majoritarian rule, a democracy. Jefferson said democracy would be nothing more than a mob rule. Our Founding Fathers knew the difference between a republic and a democracy.

Our understanding of the Commerce Clause has become so broad that I often will say, if my shoes were made in Tennessee, they’ll regulate my walking in Kentucky. Recently Senator Coburn in one of the committee hearings asked Elena Kagan, he said, well, do you think the government through the Commerce Clause could regulate you eat three vegetables a day? Her response was, yes. (Emphasis mine.)

Sen. Paul identified himself with a small but growing body of conservative thought that recognizes that the Commerce Clause has become a sledgehammer of excessive power wielded from Washington. As I wrote on January 13, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas voiced his concern when writing a dissent to the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear a case on point, in which the Commerce Clause was used as the basis to criminalize the purchase of body armor by those convicted of violent felonies. Wrote Justice Thomas, “Congress arguably could outlaw ‘the theft of a Hershey kiss from a corner store in Youngstown, Ohio, by a neighborhood juvenile onthe basis that the candy once traveled . . . to the store from Hershey, Pennsylvania.’.. The Government actually conceded at oral argument in the Ninth Circuit that Congress could ban possession of french fries that have been offered for sale in interstate commerce. Such an expansion of federal authority would trespass on traditional state police powers.”

States’ rights advocates are seeking more aggresive action to defend the 10th Amendment from the overreach of the Commerce Clause. The Tenth Amendment Center is trumpeting a new bill introduced in the Arizona state legislature which would attempt to nullify the Commerce Clause altogether. “If passed by the Arizona State Legislature and signed by the governor, SB 1178 will amend the Arizona Revised Statutes in order to provide that all goods grown, manufactured or made in Arizona and all services performed in Arizona, when such goods or services are sold, maintained, or retained in Arizona, shall not be subject to the authority of the Congress of the United States under its constitutional power to regulate commerce.” That’s an amazing step, essentially an act of civil disobedience, and symptomatic of a rising tide of disgust over the loss of states’ rights.

But it’s not enough yet. A majority of Americans say that they don’t want the Commerce Clause to be used as a basis to compel ObamaCare. But what many Americans, especially in the business community, still don’t recognize is the abuse arising from the flip side of the Commerce Clause: the abuse of basic rights arising from applying the Commerce Clause to prohibit/pre-empt action by the states, to the point of abridging the right to civil jury trials (the 7th Amendment) and states’ rights (the 10th Amendment).

No issue demonstrates the disconnect among mainstream Republicans than the medical malpractice movement, personified by H.R. 5, which would sharply limit all health care lawsuits (not just medmal suits) against a wide range of companies (not just doctors). When Rep. Hank Hohnson challenged Judiciary Committee Republicans to stand up for the 7th Amendment during last week’s debate on H.R. 5, one Republican, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, asserted that the Supreme Court had already decided that there was no conflict, which was really a retreat to stare decisis. But most of the committee’s Republicans wouldn’t hesitate to override Supreme Court decisions counter to their views on abortion, prayer in public schools, and the “establishment of religion” clause. Movements like the Tea Party groups and the Tenth Amendment Center are all about overturning long-held political and judicial doctrines in favor of a return to Constitutional principles.

As long as H.R. 5 advances through the House, Republican leaders will be unable to claim that they’re intent on curbing the Commerce Clause and on restoring the primacy of the Bill of Rights.

Washington GOP Traps Romney With Big Oil Protection Bill



Mitt Romney will be the Republican nominee for President, but he can’t stop the “Washington GOP” from putting him in an untenable position on various issues. For instance, Republicans in both houses have introduced bills which would protect all oil companies, domestic and foreign, from any liability for deadly accidents from the rig to final distribution. The sponsors of the bills (the Senate’s “Domestic Fuels Act,” S. 2264, and the House companion bill, the “Domestic Fuels Protection Act,” H.R. 4345) want us to believe – they guarantee – that the bills would not discharge Big Oil, including Big Foreign Oil, from deaths and injuries due to negligence. But the language of the bills say otherwise. For instance,

1. As long as a storage tank meets new EPA regulations or guidelines, no entity can be held liable under any federal, state, or local law.

2. The bills give complete immunity to all fuel corporations if a claim is based on the fuel being put into an engine. This immunity extends to every entity on the petroleum chain of commerce, including entities that design, manufacture, sell, distribute or store fuel, fuel additives, blend stocks, vehicles, engines, and non-road equipment.

3. These bills wipe out state and federal consumer protection laws and state product liability laws. Even if injured consumers prove that the product is dangerous and defective and caused catastrophic harm, the manufacturers and retailers will be completely immune, even if they intentionally or recklessly expose consumers to serious health risks.

Once again, the Washington GOP is trying to force legislation through the Congress that would ignore and crush the states’ rights to run their own civil litigation systems and compromise Americans’ 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial. Additionally, I don’t understand why the Washington GOP wants to extend total immunity to foreign oil companies, especially Hugo Chavez’ nationalized oil company, which Chavez uses to raise revenues for his nefarious ventures and to crush democracy in Venezuela.

The Washington GOP has trapped its new Presidential nominee by forcing him to defend a special protection bill for Hugo Chavez and domestic oil companies while Americans are being hammered by record-high gas prices. I’m as pro-oil production as any Republican, and Republicans have already aggressively pursued legislation to promote increased oil production in the U.S. These bills are unnecessary and unwise, both legally and politically.

Rob Natelson Proves Founding Fathers Opposed Federal Takeover of State Tort Law



In their zeal to adopt a federal malpractice reform bill to dictate procedures to state courts, many Republicans in Congress are doing precisely what they rightly accuse Democrats of doing: blithely disregarding the Constitution’s clear limits on federal power.

Their proposals, once encapsulated in H.R. 5 and then slipped into the Senate Republican “jobs bill,” not only violate the true meaning of the Constitution, but also likely run afoul of such modern Supreme Court cases as New York v. United States and Printz v. United States, which voided efforts to impose unfunded federal mandates on state officials. The same Virginia attorney general who brought the first suit against Obamacare has threatened to challenge this measure in court as well.

The effort to impose federal control over state courts and state civil justice violates one of the core principles of our federal system: That most judicial matters are local. Keeping courts and procedures local is, in fact, a crucial protection for individual liberty.

As I show in my new paper, “The Roots of American Judicial Federalism,” one of the chief causes of the American Revolution was the British effort to undercut local courts by centralizing the administration of justice. As I also explain, after the Revolution Americans deliberately enshrined the local-control principle in our Constitution.

In other words, medical malpractice reform, like most other aspects of civil justice, is a matter for state, not federal, law. (Emphasis added.)

So wrote Rob Natelson, Senior Fellow in Constitutional Studies at the Independence Institute in Colorado, in a post titled, “Congress, Butt Out! The Constitution Reserves Malpractice Reform for the States” to introduce his newest research study, The Roots of American Judicial Federalism. Rob Natelson is one of the most respected constitutional scholars in America; was Montana’s best known political activist — leading, among other campaigns, the most successful petition-referendum drive in Montana history — and in June 2000, was the runner-up among five candidates in the party primaries for Governor of Montana.

The Roots of American Judicial Federalism is not Rob Natelson’s first foray into the federal medical malpractice debate. In April, he became the first of a long line of conservative and Tea Party-side activists and scholars who oppose federal medmal laws on federalism grounds. In his letter to Congress, he spelled out the constitutionally based objections to H.R. 5, the primary bill desired by the medical groups to limit all health care lawsuits, including those filed for medical malpractice. “H.R. 5 flagrantly contravenes the limitations the Constitution places places upon Congress, and therefore violates both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments. H.R. 5 is purportedly an exercise of the Constitution’s Commerce Power. Yet as I shall explain, its subject-matter–civil actions in federal and state courts–is not within the Constitution’s meaning of ‘Commerce.’ Nor can H.R. 5 be justified under the Necessary and Proper Clause as incidental to the regulation of interstate Commerce.”

In the opening page of Roots, Natelson explains that the Founding Fathers were committed to reserving tort law for the states, even years before the drafting of the Constitution.

In drafting the Constitution, the Framers provided for additional federal judicial authority. Like the post-1768 pre-Revolutionary pamphleteers, however, they rejected proposals for a central government with power over all activities with inter-jurisdictional impact. Instead, they limited federal authority to items specifically enumerated. Reserved to the states would be nearly all the authority they had exercised previously, including power over state court procedures and over existing areas of substantive jurisdiction. With a few exceptions, therefore, the states were left in exclusive possession of the law of torts, contracts, inheritance, property, and criminal law.

When the Constitution became public in September, 1787, opponents argued that the Constitution could be construed to permit Congress or the federal courts to exceed prescribed limits. They contended that the new government might interfere with criminal and civil justice within the states. The Constitution, they said, should be rewritten to prevent manipulation of its terms by legal “sophistry.”

To quiet such apprehensions, the Constitution’s proponents explained to the ratifying public that the Constitution, if adopted, would grant only restricted authority to the new government. The Constitution’s proponents listed for the ratifying public numerous areas in which the federal government would have no power and the states would enjoy exclusive power. Among the areas listed were several pertaining to state judicial systems.

The remainder of the study reveals the detailed writings of the Founding Fathers in support of judicial federalism. Professor Natelson quotes them time and again, including in letters and pamphlets that many Americans have probably never read before:

Like earlier authors, the writers of the 1774 pamphlets emphasized that judicial matters should be administered locally. In his Novanglus, (John) Adams pointed out that the dispute between colonists and the British government was not limited to taxes:

“Is the threepence upon tea our only grievance? Are we not in this province deprived of the privilege of paying our governors, judges, &c.? Are not trials by jury taken from us? Are we not sent to England for trial? Is not a military government put over us? Is not our constitution demolished to the foundation?”

Alexander Hamilton, in A Full Vindication of the Measures of Congress, agreed:

“Give me the right to be tried by a jury of my own neighbors, and to be taxed by my own representatives only. What will become of the law and courts of justice without this? The shadow may remain, but the substance will be gone. I would die to preserve the law upon a solid foundation; but take away liberty, and the foundation is destroyed.”

Professor Natelson discusses the assurances that delegates to the Constitutional Convention gave to the public that the right to a civil jury trial would not be abridged:

At the New york convention, Hamilton underscored exclusive state jurisprudence over internal state administration, arguing that state powers are “civil and domestic–to support the legislative establishment, and to provide for the administration of the laws.” He added that:

“Were the laws of the Union to new-model [reform] the internal police of any state; were they to alter, or abrogate at a blow, the whole of its civil and criminal institutions; were they to penetrate the recesses of domestic life, and control, in all respects, the private conduct of individuals,–there might be more force in the objection; and the same Constitution, which was happily calculated for one state, might sacrifice the welfare of another.”

Chancellor Robert R. Livingston assured the convention that state power over traditional areas of judicial power was exclusive:

“They tell us that the state governments will be destroyed, because they will have no powers left them. This is new. Is the power over property nothing? Is the power over life and death no power? . . .In one word, can [Congress] make a single law for the individual, exclusive purpose of any one state?”

Natelson concludes by discussing the fight to recognize the right to a civil jury trial and the states’ right to run their own civil justice systems through a Bill of Rights.

Federalists had to go beyond representing the meaning of disputed provisions. They also had to promise that they would support a bill of rights once the Constitution was ratified. Five of the 11 ratifying state ratifying conventions had accompanied their approval with suggested amendments. The two states that thus far had refused to ratify, North Carolina and Rhode Island, determined to stay out of the union until a bill of rights was proposed.

Among the restrictive amendments were some restraining the federal judiciary. Thus, the Fourth Amendment regulated judicially-issued warrants, the Fifth barred double jeopardy, the Seventh prescribed jury trial in civil cases, and so on. The Ninth and Tenth Amendments were the declaratory amendments. They highlighted the limited scope of federal powers, including federal powers over judicial matters.

Although the Ninth Amendment is widely misunderstood today, its principal role was as a protection for federalism, including judicial federalism. It affirmed that Congress was no more able to impair the independence of the state judiciaries after adoption of the Bill of Rights than had been true before adoption.

The Tenth Amendment, based on the most popular proposal from the states, reinforced that whatever was not given was reserved. It may have been targeted specifically against claims raised during the Confederation period that, despite the Articles’ limits on congressional power, Congress enjoyed additional “inherent” authority merely by virtue of being a sovereign.

In other words, both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments rendered explicit the Constitution’s implicit restraints on Congress and the federal judiciary, as explained by Federalist essayists during the ratification debates. Both amendments protected the exclusive sphere of the states, including the integrity of the state courts.

Rob Natelson’s study is a enormously revealing and powerful paper that will assist real constitutional conservatives in their fight against the federal takeover of state courts. The tort reform movement finds itself without intellectual ammo, and cannot cite any writing from the Founding Fathers in support of their positions (I’ve offered free dinner on that). I will post quotes from this outstanding paper throughout the coming weeks.

Sen Tom Coburn Splits With AMA Medical Groups Over Federal Tort Reform Bills



An article in today’s “Roll Call” newspaper, which covers Congress, discusses the extensive influence that Sen. Tom Coburn has over members of the debt reduction “supercommittee” charged with finding over $1 trillion in federal budget cuts ovr a ten-year period. It appears that Sen. Coburn’s own “Back to Black” deficit reduction plan, which he released in July, is the basis for many pollicy proposals under consideration by the supercommittee.

That could be a positive development in the fight to protect each state’s right under the 10th Amendment to the Constitution to run their own civil justice systems and each American’s right under the 7th Amendment to seek a jury trial for civil suits, including medical malpractice lawsuits. Sen. Coburn’s “Back to Black” plan doesn’t call for unconstitutional federal tort reform in any way. Instead it relies on the states to manage their own legal systems, and specifically enables any injured patient to take a medical malpractice case to state court. Sen. Coburn also recognizes the terrible toll on patients as a result of deadly medical errors.

Sen. Coburn recommends that the federal government fund expert panels and health courts to resolve medical disputes, ideas implemented in some states and which do not, in practice, always protect a patient’s rights. But it preserves the patient’s right to access the state court system at any point; the state panels and health courts aren’t a mandatory step. The Senator disagreed with federal tort reform solutions on constitutional grounds in an interview posted on June 30, and this plan is consistent with his objection. I’m not endorsing the plan, but at least it protects our constitutional rights from federal “tort reform” efforts.

In contrast, the American Medical Association and numerous medical groups are asking the supercommittee to squash our constitutional rights and grant total immunity to medical professionals from their errors. They sent a letter to the supercommittee that ignores the clear consensus against federal tort reform by respected conservative legal experts such as Professor Randy Barnett; longtime tort reform proponents Walter Olson and Ted Frank; Republican Members of Congress such as Sen. Coburn and Reps. Ted Poe, John Duncan, and Ron Paul; and the largest association of state legislators in the country. Rolling over the Constitution and Bill of Rights is nothing new for the AMA and most of their fellow medical lobbying groups, the co-conspirators in the enactment of ObamaCare, with its equally unconstitutional individual mandate to buy health insurance.

The Founding Fathers’ insistence on individual liberty and state sovereignty over their legal systems means nothing to “Big Medicine.” They’re the walking definition of “Crony Capitalism” for continuously lobbying for national health care with total civil immunity. Limits in the Constitution on the enumerated powers for the federal government, and the 7th and 10th Amendments, are mere bumps in the road for the AMA and their cronies, which wants to interfere in local health care and tort law decisions so they can shape and manage our lives. There’s nothing “constitutionally conservative” about federal “tort reform” laws which would ignore the Founding Fathers, shut down local juries, and deprive Americans of our unalienable rights. The supercommittee should reject these blatant attempts by Big Medicine, and instead seek real reductions in the federal deficit.

Tort Reform Movement Again Confronts Social Conservatives



One of my primary themes here is to remind readers that the Founding Fathers honored and protected the civil litigation process for all types of civil suits, including those filed by my friends and allies in the social conservative movement. The 7th Amendment protects the right to a jury trial for civil suits for standard tort claims arising from accidents, defective products, and medical malpractice… and that right also protects our religious liberty, gun rights, property rights, and so on. One of the points I make with my conservative friends is that “the tort reform movement is coming for you” in ways they would never imagine. This week, we might have the third instance in two years, and the second this year, in which tort reform confronts social conservatives.

In a 5-4 decision in the Pliva vs. Mensing case, the Supreme Court ruled that federal legislation regulating generic drugs pre-empts state law, effectively immunizing generics from state court cases. The decision also leaves generics in a favorable legal position compared to brand-name drugs, since the Court decided in Wyeth vs. Levine two years ago that the federal law regulating brand-names doesn’t pre-empt state law, a point that Justices acknowledged in the Mensing decision. As generics constitute upwards of 70% of all drug sales, the Mensing decision marks a major step forward in the tort reform movement’s campaign to eliminate lawsuits immediately upon FDA approval.

For the pro-life movement, this raises the specter that the makers of generic forms of RU-486, the “morning-after pill,” can count on federal pre-emption to immunize them from civil suits over the pill’s dangerous side-effects. So the Mensing decision may have created a permanent safe harbor for generic RU-486, foreclosing an important tool in the pro-life movement’s fight to ban RU-486. As I posted on August 28, 2010, trial lawyers have assisted the pro-life and womens’ health causes for decades, by pursuing dangerous abortifacients, unsafe drugs, and defective medical devices, all approved by a FDA asleep at the switch. Civil suits might be the last line of defense for champions of the unborn against the new wave of abortifacient technology, but not if the technology is immunized through pre-emption in federal law.

This comes after the Supreme Court decisions in the Iqbal and Twombly cases, which also impact social conservatives, especially those who litigate on behalf of their causes. I’ve written often on those cases and the potential impact on all plaintiffs. The Alliance Defense Fund wrote an important letter in early 2010 to Congress over its concern that the decisions could threaten every American’s religious liberty through imposition of an uncertain “plausibility” standard, which invites “defensive lawyering” and subjective dismissals of complaints by individual judges.

And the House Judiciary Committee is still preparing to act on H.R. 966, the “Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act,” the tort reform movement’s bill to unnecessarily impose sanctions on plaintiffs’ attorneys as a means of preventing lawsuits. As I wrote on March 10, “LARA” could “scare away nonprofits or small firms specializing in religious liberty cases from filing suits against large entities, for fear that a judge could impose costly sanctions.rights to protect religious liberty against infringement by various parties.” If “LARA” had been in effect last year, social conservatives might not have filed a lawsuit that forced the University of Illinois to back down from threatening to fire a professor for discussing Christianity in his history class.

Social conservatives should look over their shoulder; the tort reform movement is coming for them, case by case.

Tea Party Legal Expert Rob Natelson Reiterates Unconstitutionality of HR 5



On April 5, I posted on the letter written by Constitutional scholar Rob Natelson to Congress, that “H.R. 5 flagrantly contravenes the limitations the Constitution places places upon Congress, and therefore violates both the Ninth and Tenth Amendments.” That bill would place new federal limits on lawsuits filed against a broad range of health care-related companies, including doctors, hospitals, drug & device companies, insurance companies, and nursing homes. It would also impose a federal wage scale on attorneys involved in those cases. Professor Natelson is an expert on the Founding Era; a former Republican candidate for Governor of Montana; and now Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute in Colorado, a non-partisan, free-market-oriented public policy research organization.

Among his other points was a direct criticism of a section in H.R. 5 which purports to protect states’ rights. Natelson doesn’t buy it: “Moreover, the section grants protection only when the state undertakes policy choices preferred by Congress. Thus, state laws that offer ‘greater… protections for health care providers’ are preserved, while those that offer less are overridden. States that enact statutory caps on damages receive protection, while those that make the traditional common law choice — leaving the amount to jury and judge — receive no protection. The section is, in other words, more in the nature of an insult to the states than a protection of federalism.

Rob Natelson reiterated his opposition to H.R. 5 yesterday, in a new post on his website, the Electric City Weblog. I quote:

Yet, as incredible as it may seem, in light of the message send by the 2010 elections, Congress continues to consider bills to expand government. A good example is HR 5, which if enacted, would be a massive intrusion into the state court systems. (sic)

Up till now the state courts have been one of the few areas of life relatively untouched by federal meddling. That is as it was supposed to be: State court systems are central to state sovereignty. Moreover, the Constitution reserves most issues of civil and criminal justice to the exclusive authority of the states, rather than the federal government. When the Constitution was being considered, its supporters said explicitly that state court systems are constitutionally out-of-bounds for Congress.

All members of Congress take an oath to uphold the Constitution. Many Republican members were elected after specifically pledging to honor constitutional limits. You would think they would honor their word for at least a few months. But just weeks after their swearing-in, over 100 members (mostly Republicans) had signed onto HR 5.

HR 5 is advertised as addressing abusive lawsuits against physicians, but it goes far beyond that. It would regulate in detail just about every American lawsuit that has anything to do with health care: What an injured party can allege in his or her initial filing, the damages he or she can recover, how damages are disbursed, burdens of proof, what the jury may and may not consider, which state laws survive and which don’t. HR 5 even directs state judges to conceal pertinent information from the jury.

It’s not certain the Supreme Court would uphold all of this bill. But it is certainly a flagrant invasion of local control.

Here’s a real irony: The Republicans supporting HR 5 justify it by parroting exactly the same ridiculous “Commerce Clause” claims the President uses to justify ObamaCare. (Emphasis mine.)

Of course, it’s not like Congress doesn’t have anything else to do. It has its hands more than full trying to rescue the country from a financial train wreck. Congress should be concentrating on cutting the federal deficit, which this year will approach 45% of expenditures. It should de-fund organizations that essentially lobby on the taxpayers’ money. It should encourage economic growth (and thereby increase revenues) by reforming the tax code to close loopholes and cut rates.

Similarly, Congress could allow states to contract with each other to opt out of ObamaCare. Most important of all, it could propose constitutional amendments to term-limit members of Congress and require a balanced budget. In the 1990s, Congress came within one vote of sending a balanced budget amendment to the states. If it had done so we would not be in the fiscal mess we are today.

If the congressional leaders can’t find the two-thirds majority needed in each house to propose an amendment, they could encourage the states to use the alternative procedure the Constitution gives the states for proposing amendments.

Tea Party folks who thought they save the country around in one election are learning that we have a very long road ahead.

Which Rick Perry Will Run For President



Texas Governor Rick Perry is putting a Presidential campaign in place, and I assume he’ll run. But which Rick Perry will we see? Will we see the Rick Perry who cherishes and honors the 10th Amendment as the vehicle for protecting states’ rights – the one who is willing to honor a state’s decisions even when it might interfere with his personal views? Or will we see the Rick Perry who continues to brag about Texas-style tort reform, as it it’s a nationwide solution, even though federal tort reform is clearly a breach of the 10th Amendment and states’ rights? On July 23, I asked whether he would stand against federal tort reform as a true Constitutional conservative, and what I’ve seen since then hasn’t lessened my curiosity or concern.

Both Rick Perrys were on display on July 30, when he addressed the Western Conservative Forum in Colorado. He began the substantive part of the speech by proposing that Washington “has intruded upon the rights of the states and individuals to make decisions about our own healthcare, our businesses, our money,…” all pure pro-10th Amendment, anti-ObamaCare talk. Terrific! And then he described the Constitutional limits on the federal government, and he read the entire 10th Amendment. Great, love it! But then he talked about the Texas model for economic success, which includes tort reform “so frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers…” He never specifically called for a one-size-fits-all, federally mandated takeover of state civil justice systems, but he left the obvious impression that he would take that idea forward, with no consideration of the rights of states or individuals. And in his book, “Fed Up,” Governor Perry says that Republicans stand for ending frivolous lawsuits through “real tort reform,” again with no thought for the Founding Fathers’ respect for civil jury trials.

So while Governor Perry hasn’t specifically called for Uncle Sam to run over the 7th Amendment right of individual Americans to seek a civil jury trial, or or pre-empt the 10th Amendment right of states to run their own courtrooms, it’s obvious that he hasn’t read what’s already been said on the issue by Reps. Ron Paul and Ted Poe; Sen. Tom Coburn; anti-ObamaCare Prof. Randy Barnett and six other experts on the Constitution; Mark Meckler; pro-life activist Ken Connor; and the nation’s largest group of state legislators. All of them say that Texas-style tort reform is unconstitutional on the federal level. There are no group of legal experts who say otherwise now.

The country doesn’t need a part-time Constitutional conservative – we have enough of those. I hope Governor Perry makes a strong statement of his pure commitment to Constitutional rights before he starts the campaign.

P.S. To all of you who attended the WCF and applauded loudly at Gov. Perry’s comments on tort reform, I can only say that you’re not real Constitutional conservatives… yet.

Federal Tort Reform Ideas Lost in Obamacare Decision



In the Obamacare decision on Thursday, the five conservative Supreme Court Justices rejected the unlimited scope of the Commerce Clause and the Necessary & Proper Clause envisioned by proponents of federal tort reform bills (especially caps on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits). Justice Roberts was especially deferential to federalism, employing the terms “state sovereignty” and “enumerated powers” often in his decision. Proponents of federal tort reform are among the big losers in the Obamacare decision.

Moreover, the majority adopted the framework for decisions on both clauses as proposed in amici briefs or articles by numerous anti-Obamacare legal experts, such as Profs. Randy Barnett and Ilya Somin; Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli; Rob Natelson of the Independence Institute and Tenth Amendment Center; Prof. John Baker of LSU and Catholic University Law Schools; Carrie Severino of the Judicial Crisis Network; and Senator Mike Lee.

Each of the conservative and libertarian legal experts cited above are anti-Obamacare AND anti-federal tort reform. They know that Obamacare and federal tort reform, especially H.R. 5, the bill to cap medmal damages, are the “Wickard Twins,” equally based on the 1942 Wickard v Filburn decision by the Supreme Court. The decision, cited numerous times in the Obamacare decision by all of the Justices, led to the explosion in the scope of the Commerce Clause that finally ended with the Obamacare ruling.

And other legal experts, particularly Rob Natelson, have written frequently that the Necessary & Proper Clause doesn’t create additional powers for Congress; it enables Congress to exercise those powers which are merely “incidental” to Congress’s enumerated powers. The conservative majority adopted that view in toto, thus further limiting the constitutional basis for federal laws designed to take over state tort law and courtrooms.

So any Congressman or Senator looking for support from Randy Barnett, or any of the other experts cited above, for federal tort reform is in for a rude awakening. They’ve already warned Republican leaders that federal tort reform, especially medmal caps, are just as unconstitutional as Obamacare, for the same reasons. Those leaders just don’t want to listen.

Here are illustrative quotes in Justice Roberts’ rulings on the Commerce Clause and the Necessary & Proper Clause, equally applicable to any federal scheme to take over state tort law:

State sovereignty is not just an end in itself: Rather, federalism secures to citizens the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.” New York v. United States, 505 U. S. 144, 181 (1992). Because the police power is controlled by 50 different States instead of one national sovereign, the facets of governing that touch on citizens’ daily lives are normally administered by smaller governments closer to the governed. The Framers thus ensured that powers which “in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people” were held by governments more local and more accountable than a distant federal bureaucracy. The Federalist No. 45, at 293(J. Madison)..”

The Constitution has never been understood to confer upon Congress the ability to require the States to govern according to Congress’ instructions. Otherwise the two-government system established by the Framers would give way to a system that vests power in one central government, and individual liberty would suffer.”

The Commerce Clause is not a general license to regulate an individual from cradle to grave, simply because he will predictably engage in particular transactions. Any police power to regulate individuals as such, as opposed to their activities, remains vested in the States.”

Applying these principles, the individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause as an essential component of the insurance reforms. Each of our prior cases upholding laws under that Clause involved exercises of authority derivative of, and in service to, a granted power…The individual mandate, by contrast, vests Congress with the extraordinary ability to create the necessary predicate to the exercise of an enumerated power… Rather, such a conception of the Necessary and Proper Clause would work a substantial expansion of federal authority. No longer would Congress be limited to regulating under the Commerce Clause those who by some preexisting activity bring themselves within the sphere of federal regulation. Instead, Congress could reach beyond the natural limit of its authority and draw within its regulatory scope those who otherwise would be outside of it.”

November 16 Capitol Hill Panel on Sharia vs The Constitution



On November 16. the Center for Security Policy, the 7th Amendment Advocate and The Legal Project of the Middle East Forum presented a discussion on Capitol Hill entitled, “Shariah vs. the Constitution.” Opening remarks on that topic was the event’s sponsor, Rep. Doug Lamborn. The panel featured David Yerushalmi, General Counsel, Center for Security Policy; Daniel Huff of The Legal Project of the Middle East Forum; and me. The Center for Security Policy’s Frank Gaffney moderated the panel and led the discussion. The panel was my idea and followed the debate over the decision by New York City zoning officials to allow Imam Rauf to build his mosque near Ground Zero.

I presented the history and purpose of the right to a jury trial for civil and criminal cases, starting in ancient times, through the signing of the Magna Carta and centuries of British law, to recognition in the founding documents of the United States. I contrasted American constitutional law with the principles of sharia justice, in which there are no juries and little resemblance to the official Federal Rules of Civil and Criminal Procedure in use in the United States today. As a warning to participants, I discussed the confusing judicial systems in use in Malaysia, in which some Muslim communities are allowed to apply various forms of sharia law in their courtrooms, while non-Muslim areas employ traditional procedural norms that provide the types of safeguards provided in 800 years of American and British law. As I posted on September 8 and on August 30, Sharia civil and criminal procedure – if you can call it that – is clearly incompatible with the right to jury trials protected in the Bill of Rights. American judges must resist any notion that they should compromise the Constitution to appease Muslims or any other faith.

The Center for Security Policy has posted a video of the panel on its Secure Freedom YouTube channel. I will post a transcript or link to a transcript when it becomes available. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the panel and hope we can conduct a repeat performance for new Members of Congress and other audiences early next year.

President of Trial Lawyers Group Promotes 7th Amendment at Federalist Society Convention updated with video link



The last Showcase Panel at this year’s National Convention of the Federalist Society focused on “Ideas for Structural Change,” including “reviving the right to civil jury trials.” Among the panel participants was Gibson Vance, shareholder at the Beasley Allen law firm and current President of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the largest trial lawyers’ association in the world. He spoke on AAJ’s dedication to promoting the 7th Amendment, the importance of the 7th Amendment to plaintiffs across the country and current dangers to our unalienable right to civil jury trials. I’ve attached the full text of his remarks here. UPDATE: The Federalist Society posted video and audio of the panel here, and Gibson Vance’s remarks begin around the 44-minute mark.

Here are selected quotes from Gibson Vance’s remarks:

“Many organizations in Washington support various issues, but we care about only one: supporting and defending the 7th Amendment to the Constitution…. the Right to a Trial by Jury. The 7th Amendment guides every position we take. The issues we support, as well as the one’s we oppose, are all based on their consistency with the spirit and intent of the 7th Amendment.”

“The right to a trial by jury for civil suits dates almost 800 years, to the signing of the Magna Carta. Article 39 of the Magna Carta specifically guaranteed the right to a jury trial for civil suits and criminal cases, and our Founding Fathers also agreed with the importance of a trial by jury. In the words of James Madison, whose silhouette is your symbol, (said,) ‘In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases, is as essential to secure the liberty of the people, as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.'”

“Pre-dispute, mandatory, binding arbitration, directly endangers the 7th Amendment. Recently, my family placed my 98-year-old Grandmother in a nursing home. During the admissions process, the first document we were asked to sign had nothing to do with my Grandmother’s health, treatment, or even the cost of her care…it was a forced arbitration clause, waiving her right to a jury trial for any and all acts…including wrongful death. Certainly this is not what our forefather’s had in mind. The pre-dispute forced arbitration process, found in virtually all consumer and employment contracts, is very often skewed in favor of corporations and against the interest of consumers and employees.”

“Today, I present a challenge: for those in attendance who may support so-called “tort reform,” please consider how this conflicts with the principles of limited government you also promote. In many ways, the concept of ‘tort reform’ is an assault on states’ rights and individual freedom.”

“My ultimate goal as president of AAJ is to raise the profile of the 7th Amendment. Americans universally know that the 2nd Amendment protects the right of the people to bear arms. Our Founding Fathers had no intention of making the 2nd Amendment more or less important than the 7th, or any other part of the Bill of Rights. It is up to groups like AAJ, and the Federalist Society, to educate lawmakers, the legal community, and the public that we cannot pick and choose which parts of the Constitution to follow or to ignore.”

Medical Damage Caps in GOP Budget Proposal Trample on Constitution Bill of Rights



The U.S. House Budget Committee Chairman, Rep. Paul Ryan, unveiled a budget proposal designed to cut trillions in federal spending and the deficit. Inside the 73-page proposal, in a section titled, “Fulfilling the Mission of Health And Retirement Security For All Americans,” is a short paragraph which would cap non-economic damages in medical liability cases:

Ensure that the cost of frivolous litigation is not passed on to consumers in the form of higher health-care premiums by capping non-economic damages in medical liability lawsuits. (Page 44.)

I’m always searching the writings of the Founding Fathers to write on their devotion to the unalienable right to bring civil suits before a local jury of our peers, as guaranteed by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution and centuries of American and pre-colonial British law. My work has taken a turn into the development of the Commerce Clause and the interaction of that clause with the Bill of Rights, including not just the Seventh, but also the Tenth Amendment on states’ rights. In that regard, a quote by a delegate to the Constitutional convention in 1787 and voted to ratify Constitution, who later served as a historic Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, is pertinent to any discussion of the meaning and scope of the Commerce Clause. Chief Justice John Marshall established the Supreme Court’s initial interpretation of the Commerce Clause in Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824). Many politicians and commentators argue that Gibbons supports an expansive reading of the Commerce Clause in order to support their political views for pre-emption of state laws and courts (many Republicans) or for ObamaCare (many Democrats), but they conveniently (or purposefully) overlook one key paragraph of Marshall’s opinion:

That inspection laws may have a remote and considerable influence on commerce will not be denied, but that a power to regulate commerce is the source from which the right to pass them is derived cannot be admitted. The object of inspection laws is to improve the quality of articles produced by the labour of a country, to fit them for exportation, or, it may be, for domestic use. They act upon the subject before it becomes an article of foreign commerce or of commerce among the States, and prepare it for that purpose.They form a portion of that immense mass of legislation which embraces everything within the territory of a State not surrendered to the General Government; all which can be most advantageously exercised by the States themselves. Inspection laws, quarantine laws, health laws of every description, as well as laws for regulating the internal commerce of a State, and those which respect turnpike roads, ferries, &c., are component parts of this mass. (Emphasis mine.)

So Marshall explicitly stated that “health laws of every description” are reserved for the states and should never be the subject of federal legislation. Marshall’s express limitation on federal power under the Commerce Clause is a key element in an objection to H.R. 5, the bill to limit all health care-related suits, posted on the Independence Institute’s website by Rob Natelson, conservative Constitutional scholar and Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Institute. Natelson wrote to Congress with a complete Constitutional analysis of the bill, which you can download from here (4.7MB Acrobat file). I posted a short summary of that bill here on Tuesday. But a particular quote merits special attention:

In the Constitution, the word “Commerce” encompasses trade in goods among merchants and certain related activities, such as commercial paper, transportation, and cargo insurance. It does not include other economic activities, and it certainly does not include health care or the states’ administration of civil justice.

I urge readers to send their Congressman, especially any Republican, a copy of the Natelson letter to prove to them that a highly respected Tea Party-side Constitutional scholar condemns Congressional efforts at “tort reform,” and not just over health care-related cases.

GOP Establishment vs Tea Party Not That Simple



Columnist Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner, who has a strong following among conservatives, has followed the “K Street Republicans vs. Tea Party” for several years and wrote again about the conflict last week. And Carney identifies some of the practical points of conflict between the two groups: “The GOP establishment rallies industry donors behind the Republican seen as stronger in November. A deeper reason: The revolving-door clique of K Street and Capitol Hill operatives needs Republicans elected to upper chamber who are likely to play ball.”

That’s all true, but it’s not complete. Industry-side Republicans just see the world differently than people like me and Tea Party allies, such as Judson Phillips or Jenny Beth Martin, who lead and populate the grassroots Tea Party groups, or Rob Natelson and Randy Barnett, who write about the constitutional bases for rolling back Obamacare and limiting the size of the federal government. The pro-Wall Street or U.S. Chamber types, such as the Koch brothers’ groups and lobbyists, don’t really see the imperative to radically reduce the size and scope of the mechanisms created over the past 50 years to regulate the everyday activities of the American people. They would be perfectly satisfied if the EPA, CPSC, and FDA were forever oriented to be pro-business. They don’t care about the historical or constitutional arguments by the Founding Fathers for the right to a civil jury trial. That side of the Republican Party “talks the talk” of limited government but actually fights for federal pre-emption of state laws and courtrooms in almost every aspect of commerce, from products liability law to medical malpractice lawsuits to financial services regulation. That’s the difference I see. I’m as pro-business as any of the Kochs towards taxes (too high), overt federal regulation that kills job creation (too much), Obamacare (the worst) and so on. We just fundamentally see the role of the civil jury trial and state courtrooms very differently. The Seventh and Tenth Amendments never enter into their discussions. That’s why they argue for H.R. 5, a federal medical malpractice bill, with no citation to any recent constitutional scholarship, while I can point to the writings of numerous respected scholars and like-minded Republicans who know that bill is unconstitutional.

And not all politicians or groups who proclaim themselves as “Tea Party” are really Tea Partiers. The Club for Growth, one such “Tea Party group” named in the Carney article, has asked prospective candidates for their views on federal tort reform and, I assume is for that concept, regardless of its unconstitutionality. Numerous Republican politicians who pass themselves off as “Tea Partiers” or “constitutional conservatives,” starting with many Congressional Republican leaders, are pro-federal tort reform in order to bash trial lawyers and collect campaign contributions from business. It’s an old habit that dies hard.

Fortunately a growing number of Republican politicians, at all levels of government, are recognizing the reality that federal power isn’t unlimited and all ten amendments in the Bill of Rights are worth protecting in law. I’ve personally seen a number of Republican politicians take a step back from the tort reform agenda and re-evaluate their position upon reading statements by experts they admire, such as Randy Barnett or Sens. Coburn and Lee. The mission for those of us seeking constitutional consistency inside the Republican Party is to persevere, support and convert those open to rational discussion, and recruit candidates to support limited government and constitutional rights before they become committed otherwise. And we have to differentiate between the phony and the real constitutional conservatives.

Happy Birthday James Madison Father of the 7th Amendment



Today is the 260th anniversary of the birth of James Madison, fourth President of the United States, principal author of the Constitution and Bill of Rights, the latter of which merits him the title of “Father of the 7th Amendment.” Today at Montpelier, his birthplace in Virginia and lifetime home, they’re celebrating by unveiling an historical marker in honor of First Lady Dolley Madison, and by holding a wreath-laying ceremony at President Madison’s grave. And so it is fitting and proper to remember the following:

James Madison loved civil suits. He considered the right to a jury trial for civil suits equal in importance to each and every right in the Bill of Rights, including the freedoms of speech, assembly and religion; the right to bear arms; the right to a jury trial for criminal cases; and the right for the states and the people to exercise those powers neither delegated to the United States not prohibited to the states and people. And James Madison NEVER, EVER, proposed anything close to the subversion of civil jury trial rights through the application of the Supremacy or Commerce Clauses.

Madison wrote the text of the 7th Amendment, posted above in the website banner, as well as the following categorical endorsement of the right to a jury trial for civil suits: “In suits at common law, trial by jury in civil cases is as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.”

Two years ago on this anniversary, Steven Waldman, the Editor-in-Chief, President & Co-Founder of Beliefnet.com , the largest faith and spirituality website, wrote a terrific piece on the Wall Street Journal describing Madison’s love of religious liberty and his strenuous efforts to protect it in the Bill of Rights. Madison knew full well, from the history of the British people, that one peaceful way to ensure the free exercise of religion would be to sue anybody who would infringe upon that right, and have that claim heard before a local jury of peers. He knew that Article 39 of the Magna Carta guaranteed that right, and he knew that the British drifted away from their rights during the years of the Star Chamber. When George Mason and other patriots objected to the ratification of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights, he wanted to ensure that all Americans would recognize and protect their unalienable rights. So after the states ratified the Constitution, he introduced 17 amendments in the first Congress, of which ten were ultimately ratified.

James Madison would oppose every pro-“tort reform” bill proposed in Congress, period. No one can convince me otherwise.

Our Most Unknown Ignored Endangered Constitutional Right



After almost two months of writing posts and Tweets, I’m more concerned than ever that our Constitutional right to jury trials for civil suits is in jeopardy. In my meetings with senior Congressional staff and opinion leaders in Washington, I find almost wholesale ignorance of the text, centuries-long history, and intent of the 7th Amendment to the Constitution. The war by the business community on trial lawyers has overshadowed the clear language of the 7th Amendment, its foundation in the Magna Carta, the obvious intent of the Founding Fathers, and the respect given to civil jury trials by Supreme Court Justices since the ratification of the Bill of Rights. I find little or no mention of the 7th Amendment on websites of political organizations on the left or right, including those of Tea Partiers and Constitutional conservatives. The march by Congress, the federal bureaucracy, and the federal judiciary towards federal preemption of state statutory and common law continues without regard to the impact on our Constitutional rights for local control and accountability through the decisions of a local jury. The essential right to file a complaint in federal court has been compromised by the Supreme Court’s unilateral decisions in the Iqbal and Twombly cases, creating a confusing new standard for pleadings that will worsen with each interpretation by each of the appeals courts. Not just trial lawyers, but a conservative legal review editor, an accomplished attorney for American terrorism victims, and religious liberty advocates are realizing that their favorite causes are ultimately in jeopardy – just read my posts since opening.

The overwhelming majority of Americans don’t know that we sign away our 7th Amendment rights every day in what seem to be normal decisions. If you’ve bought a cell phone, car, computer, digital camera, or high-def TV anytime in the past, say, five years, you’ve agreed to a clause forcing you to accept a mandatory arbitration process that’s stacked against consumers, with no transcript or appeal rights. Our men and women in uniform who are fighting for our freedom automatically lose the 7th Amendment rights held by retired veterans and civilians even when acting in the same circumstances. For instance, a retired vet or civilian who suffers from medical malpractice at the hands of a military doctor on a base can sue the doctor. But a uniformed American – someone who has volunteered to go thousands of miles away to fight terrorism – is barred from filing such a suit, thanks to a 1950 Supreme Court decision. And good luck to any American trying to recover from negligence at the hands of a military contractor with billions of dollars in Defense contracts. Is that really what the Founding Fathers had in mind?

But what we hear in the normal political discourse is that a civil suit and an attempt to move it towards a jury decision is a social evil, a net economic cost or a waste of precious judicial resources. No mention of the Constitution in any of that screed. Well, go search your American history – the Founders had no use for a socio-economic test for the God-given “unalienable rights” enunciated in the Bill of Rights. None. Of course, there’s a cost attached to the 1st Amendment (lousy and biased reporting) and the 2nd Amendment (accidental shootings), but plenty of Americans defend the absolute guarantee of those and other of the Bill of Rights. Not so the 7th Amendment – it’s the “lost amendment.”

A conservative leader told me a few weeks ago that “the 7th Amendment is complex.” Well, no it isn’t tough, it’s just a matter of trust. The Founders trusted local juries over judges, bureaucrats, and even elected politicians. What too many Americans, in and out of Washington, have lost is that trust.

Mitt Romney Pledges to Protect States Rights In Health Care Policies



What I would do is keep, as we have today, state responsibility for those that are uninsured. You see I believe in the 10th Amendment. I believe the states have responsibility to care for their people in the way they feel best.

So said Mitt Romney, Republican candidate for President, in his most detailed speech on health care policy to date. Speaking in Orlando under a banner announcing, “Repeal & Replace Obamacare,” Romney pledged to replace Obamacare in several steps. Most importantly for my purposes, here is what Mitt Romney did and did not do yesterday:

He pledged to uphold and protect the 10th Amendment in all of his health care policy decisions.

He did not criticize Americans for exercising their 7th Amendment right to ask a jury to hold health care professionals responsible for deadly medical errors. He didn’t even mention civil suits.

He was not inconsistent or hypocritical with the 10th Amendment by simultaneously proposing to crush states’ and individual rights by instituting unconstitutional federal medmal limits.

He did not back the efforts by health care companies, their associations, or their Beltway allies to enact such laws.

He did not promise to reward the pro-Obamacare health care associations, the very groups that shoved Obamacare down our throats through their secret deals and lobbying, with another special deal to immunize them from civil liability.

He did not associate himself with the doctors in Congress who are trying to enact special interest legislation to protect their industry from accountability and responsibility through federal tort reform.

And he did not commit to using a phony CBO estimate of budget “savings” from medical malpractice limits as a way to pay for other budget items.

Now I know that as Massachusetts Governor, Mitt Romney enacted statewide limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.

I also know that his campaign website includes a proposal to “Cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits.”

SO WHICH MITT ROMNEY WOULD BE PRESIDENT?

Is it the self-proclaimed protector of states’ rights? Or is it the former governor who unabashedly closed state courthouse doors to victims of deadly medical errors? Will he convert into a true federalist?

I convert Republicans in Washington into consistent states’ rights advocates. I show them what their own favorite constitutional experts say about the unconstitutionality of federal tort reform. I don’t have to say much. I’ve seen it work time and again.

Mitt Romney? We’ll see…

Brett Emison Did You Know State Supreme Courts Routinely Find Tort Reform Damage Caps Unconstitutional



Today I read an outstanding post on the Injury Board Blog Network by Brett Emison of the Langdon & Emison law firm in Missouri, about the numerous state Supreme Courts which have struck down attempts to restrict the right to trial by jury as infringements on fundamental constitutional rights. The Injury Board’s Tom Young and Brett Emison gave me permission to re-post it here. Here are the highlights, and I urge you to read the entire post:

Wisconsin: In 2005, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin held the state’s $350,000 non-economic damages cap was an unconstitutional violation of the equal protection clause of Wisconsin’s constitution. Ferndon v. Wisconsin Patient’s Compensation Fund, 701 N.W.2d 440 (Wisc. 2005)…

Ultimately the Court ruled Wisconsin’s cap was “arbitrary and create[d] an undue hardship on a small unfortunate group of plaintiffs.” Id. at 466. There was no rational basis for this brand of “tort reform”. The non-economic damage cap was not rationally related to any of the following:

— Non-economic cap not rationally related to compensating victims fairly

— Non-economic cap not rationally related to lowering medical malpractice insurance premiums

— Non-economic cap not rationally related to maintaining the Wisconsin Patient’s Compensation Fund

–Non-economic cap not rationally related to lowering overall health care costs for consumers

— Non-economic cap not rationally related to ensuring quality health care

Georgia: Georgia passed its own “tort reform” legislation in 2005, also enacting a $350,000 non-economic damage cap. In a unanimous decision the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled that the “tort reform” legislation violated the constitutional right to trial by jury…

The Georgia Court found that the non-economic cap unconstitutionally infringed on the right to trial by jury because the cap arbitrarily disregards the jury’s findings and undermines the jury’s basic function. Atlanta Oculoplastic Surgery v. Nestlehutt, 691 S.E.2d 218, 223 (Ga. 2010). Moreover, the fact that the cap permits full recovery up to $350,000 cannot save the “tort reform” from constitutional attack…

The Georgia decision confirms that you can’t violate the constitution “just a little”. You either violate the constitution or you do not. An arbitrary reduction of the jury’s award, no matter how small or what the amount, is an unconstitutional encroachment on the right to trial by jury.

Illinois: In 2010, the Supreme Court of Illinois struck down the Illinois non-economic damage cap as an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers. Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, 930 N.E.2d 895 (Ill. 2010)… The separation of powers clause prohibits one branch of government from exercising powers belonging to another. The Court found that the cap duly encroached on the judiciary’s “sphere of authority” and “impede[d] the courts int he performance of their functions.” Id. at 909, 912.

Washington: In 2006, the Washington legislature enacted “tort reform” which required plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases to provide 90 days’ notice of the plaintiff’s intention to file a lawsuit. The Washington Supreme Court found the “tort reform” law to be an unconstitutional violation of separation of powers. Waples v. Yi, 234 P.3d 187, 195 (Wash. 2010).

West Virginia: Though West Virginia’s Supreme Court upheld a $500,000 non-economic damage cap earlier this year, a powerful dissent by Judge Wilson illustrates why the Court got it wrong.

Not affecting fundamental rights? The right to a trial by a jury is the most fundamental of our constitutional rights. Query: If a person has a right to a jury trial and the jury award is completely taken away, did that person have a court open to him for an injury done to him? Did he have a remedy? Was justice administered without denial? Did he have his constitutional right to a jury trial?

The Court’s degrading of the right of a jury trial in a civil case in West Virginia is in square conflict with the United States Constitution. The phrases used in the United States Constitution and the West Virginia Constitution for granting the right to a civil jury trial are almost identical. For our Supreme Court to suggest that the right to a jury trial in West Virginia is not as great as that in another state that uses the phrase ‘the right to trial by jury shall remain inviolate’ in its constitution makes no sense.

This case is about what has already happened to the malpractice victims in the three West Virginia cases that challenged the constitutionality of the malpractice cap. These are real people who deserved more when they pursued justice in our West Virginia courts.”

Caps on damages and other hurdles effectively shut the courthouse doors for many and fundamentally restricts their constitutional right to trial. The 7th Amendment is the ultimate lynch pin for all other constitutional rights, which is why it’s not just democrats and trial lawyers standing up for this fundamental freedom, but also constitutional conservatives who oppose attacks on 7th Amendment rights through tort reform.

“Tort reform” protects and rewards negligent actors and makes us all less safe. It also undermines our most important constitutional safeguard. As the Georgia Supreme Court said, “tort reform” “clearly nullifies the jury’s findings of fact regarding damages and thereby undermines the jury’s basic function.”

What is your remedy if someone violates your constitutional rights to free speech, to religious freedom, to keep and bear arms, to contract, etc.? These are civil law (or civil justice) claims in which you take the bad actor to court in order to have your rights protected. What happens when access to courts is limited? What happens when access to court is so lopsided that the average person cannot gain access? What happens when powerful lobbyists control the courts like they control other branches of government?

Tort “reforms” also have the perverse effect of bloating federal government and penalizing taxpayers through government funded bailouts of negligent actors. Imagine someone is paralyzed by a defective product, a negligent doctor or a drunk driver. Tort reform either excludes the plaintiff completely from the court system or limits the recovery to only a portion of the plaintiff’s actual life care needs. The bad actor is relieved of personal (or corporate responsibility) and the burdens of the bad actions are borne by taxpayers in the form of Medicare, Medicaid and disability payments.

Many Conservative Groups Already Co-Opted Out of Defending 7th Amendment Rights



Two weeks ago, Ken Connor, Chairman of the Center for a Just Society, posted an article on that website and others in which he discussed how top GOP Establishment figures plan on co-opting successful Tea Party Congressional candidates:

Trent Lott, former Senate Majority Leader and current K Street lobbyist, insists that there is no room in Washington fora lot of Jim DeMint disciplesand that the GOP establishment mustco-optany Tea Party candidates who manage to actually win races and make it to Washington. Recognizing the wisdom in the old adagekeep your friends close and your enemies closer,” the major operatives within the Grand Old Party know that the only way to maintain their grip on power is to find a way to keep the troops in line. In the military such control is maintained by the strict adherence to the chain of command. In third world dictatorships such control is maintained through intimidation. In Washington, such control is maintained by money, the mother’s milk of politics. Secure the Tea Party Republicans’ loyalty the old fashioned way, Lott arguesby buying it. By doing so, the Establishment’s agenda will become their agenda.”

But I’ve discovered that the co-opting process has been underway for years, fueled by contributions from the pro-“tort reform” lobby in the business community to numerous “cosnervative” groups across the country, and with major success. Early this year, I began an effort to identify those conventional conservative and faith-based legal foundations which, in my opinion, should be concerned that their access to civil justice has been severely compromised by the twin Supreme Court rulings in Bell Atlantic v Twombly and Ashcroft v Iqbal. Through those rulings, the Court materially restricted the civil complaint process in federal courts, leading to scores of dismissals without any discovery. One of the editors of the Federalist Society’s official law review has described that change as “bad news” that will increase “arbitrariness” by federal judges and promote “tremendous unpredictability.”

I pursued around 20 of the legal groups and foundations on the right, thinking that they would see the eventual implications for their civil suits to protect religious liberty, gun owners’ rights, parental rights, property rights, and even the rights of the unborn. I was deeply disappointed to find that almost all of the big-name conservative groups – the ones to whom I turn for sound conservative policy advice on many issues – have no knowledge or appreciation of the history, nature, or importance of the 7th Amendment’s guarantee of the God-given right to jury trials for civil suits. The Heritage Foundation, AEI, Cato Institute and others have already signed up to the “tort reform” agenda without any consideration for the unalienable right to a jury trial for civil suits. Moreover, all of the conservative legal foundations across the United States refused to join me, even though key officers in several told me that they were troubled by the sudden change in pleading standards. One counsel of a major conservative legal foundation admitted that he agreed with me, but he knew he couldn’t sell the position to his board, an obvious admission of influence by the business community.

Fortunately, I found some allies among the faith-based legal foundations, who kowtow to no one and are already seeing the Iqbal-Twombly pleading standards invoked against them in their filings. The Alliance Defense Fund not only wrote to Congress to express serious concern over the revised pleading standards, but informed all of its partners in their arena and encouraged them to do the same.

One veteran reporter on Washington, Tim Carney of the Washington Examiner, has already written of the Republican divide between K Street and Tea Party Republicans. I’ve already lived that divide and see that as the fault line for the next 5-10 years in the Republican Party.

It will be up to Constitutional conservatives to fight for each right enumerated in the Bill of Rights without compromise.

Americans Dont Believe CBO Neither Should House Committee Chairman



Pollster Scott Rasmussen’s latest release shows that, “Only 29% predict that repeal (of ObamaCare) will increase the federal budget deficit.” In other words, the vast majority of Americans don’t believe the Congressional Budget Office’s preliminary estimate that repealing ObamaCare would add up to $230 billion to the deficit. Americans aren’t stupid; we realize that interfering with market choices and adding layers of federal bureaucracy at HHS to run part or all of the health care system can never reduce the deficit. The poll finding comes a week after House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor personally challenged CBO’s guesstimates on the impact of ObamaCare.

So why is the House Judiciary Committee Chairman, Rep. Lamar Smith, still citing CBO’s estimate that limiting our 7th Amendment rights to sue for medical malpractice will magically produce $54 billion in deficit reduction? Doesn’t he realize that CBO has a long history of being WRONG in its deficit estimates for much of the past twenty years? For instance: In 1993, CBO forecast that the deficit in fiscal year 2002 would be $579 billion. Two years later, they reduced the FY2002 forecast to $349 billion, Two years later, they reduced it again, to $188 billion. By 2001, they had figured that the budget would be IN SURPLUS by $176 billion.

Why should any American, and especially a House committee chairman, trust any forecast that is so wrong and can change by so much? If CBO can’t even consistently forecast whenther we’ll have a federal deficit or a surplus a few years from now, how can Congress count on it as the basis for possibly abridging our unalienable right to a civil jury trial?