Class Action Action


Although I don't buy the constitutional justification for federal limits on medical malpractice suits, the case for the class action bill the Senate overwhelmingly passed yesterday is a lot stronger. (Walter Olson has a handy collection of links on the subject at Class actions of national scope, involving defendants and plaintiffs from various states, ought to be heard in federal courts (which have jurisdiction over "Controversies…between Citizens of different States," a phrase that has been given an unreasonably narrow reading), instead of whatever county court is most receptive to claims against big corporations. And judges should be less inclined to rubber-stamp settlements that provide significant benefits to no one but the lawyers. In short, this looks like good legislation that respects the Constitution. Yet the broad, bipartisan support it has attracted in Congress makes me suspect there must be something wrong with it.