Monday, January 31, 2011

Don't Let Legislatures and The Judiciary Strip Us of Our Constitutional Rights!

I am sick about hearing about tort "reform." even President Obama talks about the need for medical malpractice reform. What will really happen if lawsuits just went away? Will society be better off? Are lawyers and their greedy clients the problem?

Would there be seat belts in cars if no one had sued because a loved one was killed while ejected from a car and needlessly killed? Would some demented bosses be allowed to fondle and require their secretaries to give them sex if courageous women had not brought sexual harassment lawsuits? Would it just be considered "bad form" or rude if some white employees hang nooses from the ceiling in the break room to intimidate African Americans if fed up and outraged people of color had not had the courage to insist on their rights to be free from discrimination in court? I could recite hundreds, if not thousands of examples of positive social change as a result of lawsuits.

Should we let large corporations and insurance companies run roughshod over our legislatures, shower politicians with money and incentives so that they, the unliving "people" (or so the Supreme Court claims) can make their shareholders richer and more powerful while those with no money get poorer and poorer.

Is this country really just about money and power because we have a "capitalistic" society? I thought the Bill of Rights was supposed to mean something. Everyday, our judiciary and our Congress whittle away the Seventh Amendment rights of Americans, and no one even notices. The Seventh Amendment entitles Americans to jury trials. It is one of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights, seemingly as important as our First Amendment right to free speech and the constantly debated Second Amendment right to bear arms. But, no one talks about the Seventh Amendment. And while no one is paying attention, we are losing our Seventh Amendment rights through concealed arbitration agreements, judges granting summary judgment or remittitur, legislatures placing caps on damages. Big business does not trust American citizens to look out for their interest. Big business thinks people, if given the power as jurors will most likely to the right and fair thing. And big business does not want a fair, even playing field.

Those of you reading this, I implore you to contact your legislators, whether state or federal and find out their views on so called "tort reform"' which is a misnomer. What these people, under the influence of big business advocate is injustice and unfairness. We have a right to have disputes tried by a jury of our peers for a reason. The jury system is the most fair and just. Make sure you let your representatives know that it's not away for them to take away your rights, no matter how much money big business pays them in campaign contributions. It's time for us to step up and insist on our rights. They can't just tear our right to a jury from us, while no one is paying attention. You must do something.

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