Unfortunately, in the face of such “litigation tourism,” Governor Christie has abdicated his responsibility and abandoned his campaign pledge to reform it all – perhaps because of his chummy and mutually beneficial relationship with New Jersey’s legal community, whose members have aggressively opposed tort reform. At a town hall meeting last year, he declared reform a lost cause, saying he doubted “you’ll ever see significant tort reform.”
But an aggressive tort reform push in his second term would be terrific politics for Christie. A concentrated legislative agenda on a major issue like this would focus the scandal-hungry media’s attention on policy.
This issue has significant political implications for Mr. Christie as he considers his political future. Considered a Northeast moderate, Gov. Christie is unlikely to gain much of a following among the social conservatives in the Republican Party. Much of his support would likely come from business interests, a powerful Republican constituency. But business leaders are already privately expressing concern about his failure to aggressively combat his state’s overly litigious climate.
It’s past time to curtail the excess lawsuits in New Jersey.