The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to revise procedures for class-action lawsuits. As the Washington Post reports, the legislation is an attempt to prevent "forum shopping," instead funneling class-action lawsuits from state courts into federal courts. While the legislation may be constitutional and useful, it shouldn't be heralded as a panacea for tort reform.
Tort reform may be necessary, but it shouldn't involve a further increase of federal statues promulgated pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution. As I explained in an AZMED article last year, most tort reform proposals should be decided at the state, not the federal level.
In his book, Shakedown, Cato Institute senior fellow Robert A. Levy discusses various abuses of the judicial system as a result of baseless lawsuits. He will join the Goldwater Institute May 5 for a book forum to discuss concrete ways to overhaul antitrust and tort laws.