Thursday, February 10, 2005


By Stockton

The party of State's Rights and 'local control' has struck once again.

Senate OKs Limit on Class Action Lawsuits

By JESSE J. HOLLAND, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Senate approved a measure Thursday to help shield businesses from major class action lawsuits like the ones that have been brought against tobacco companies, giving President Bush the first legislative victory of his second term.

Under the legislation, long sought by big business, large multistate class action lawsuits could no longer be heard in small state courts. Such courts have handed out multimillion-dollar verdicts.

Instead, the cases would be heard by federal judges, who have not proven as open to those type of lawsuits.

"The people have a right to have their class actions heard in big, robust Federal Courts," said Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). "Right now, most are heard in teenie-weenie state courts. It's just to crowded for all the class members. We just want them to be comfortable."

Traditionally, the seating arrangements are much more comfortable in Federal Court than in state court. "Also," added Rick Santorum (R-PA), "the bathrooms are much cleaner."

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