Ken Connor

To shield themselves from the consequences of their actions, companies are willing to spend big bucks to ensure that the legal system is stacked against the victims of corporate wrongdoing and in favor of the wrongdoers. This scheme is widely known as "tort reform" and it has become the mantra of Republican candidates who are wildly inconsistent in their supposed adherence to the principles of our Constitution. Such candidates extol the Second Amendment's right to bear arms while seeking to undercut the Seventh Amendment's protection of the right to trial by jury in civil cases.

Few are more outspoken in their support of tort reform than Rick Perry and Newt Gingrich. Of course when their own interests are at stake, these same individuals waste no time in hiring the toughest, meanest, most expensive lawyers money can buy. Remember when George W. Bush thought his opponents were trying to steal the election in Florida? Dubya hired a phalanx of lawyers to protect his interests and a lawsuit ended up deciding the outcome of the 2000 presidential election. And guess who Rick Perry and The Newtster have hired to get them on the ballot in Virginia? Those same lying, thieving scumbags they love to tell the public to hate.

The hypocrisy of these Republican Establishment Blue Bloods is breathtaking. Lawyers are good for them when their career aspirations are at stake, but not for you when a dangerous medication causes a heart attack, or faulty tires kill your loved one. Lawsuits are okay as a means of righting their wrongs, but not yours. So much for principle.

Two of America's finest presidents, Abraham Lincoln and John Adams, were trial lawyers – and darned good ones at that! Perhaps the day will come when the Republican establishment will recognize that the civil justice system is designed to serve the all of the public and not just the privileged class, that equal justice for all is more than just a political bromide, and that those who advocate before the bar of justice are no less honorable than the corporate CEO's who write the GOP's campaign checks. Right, and perhaps one day pigs will fly.


Ken Connor

Ken Connor is Chairman of the Center for a Just Society in Washington, DC.