News Room

American Future Fund Opposes Congressional Efforts to Federalize State Law

House Votes Expected This Week

West Des Moines, IA – March 7, 2017 — Nick Ryan, Founder of the American Future Fund, today released the following statements regarding a package of “litigation reform” measures being fast-tracked through the U.S. House of Representatives this week:

“So-called ‘litigation reform’ measures currently being fast-tracked through Congress as a package, without hearings and under limited debate, cover a diverse range of issues but share a disturbing characteristic:  they represent a continuing trend toward the ‘federalization’ of state tort law that is contrary to constitutional principles and the preservation of liberty.

“The proposed bills, which have been rammed through the U.S. House Judiciary Committee and are headed to the full House, amend federal law to end abusive practices in asbestos litigation, class actions, the joinder of parties to lawsuits and frivolous claims.  But they represent end-runs around state tort laws and rules, blatant efforts to remove state actions to the federal courts, and the knowing and willful imposition of federal standards and sanctions on state judicial systems.

“These bills put conservatives in a precarious position. The outcomes of some of these bills are laudable but we cannot simply federalize state laws that we don’t care for.  Isn’t this the same thing that we, as conservatives, have criticized Democrats for doing for years?

“The snowballing trend toward federalization of tort law is contrary to constitutionally constructed principles of federalism in which states serve as ‘laboratories of democracy’ allowing for differing approaches to critical issues in law and policy.  

“The rights and freedoms of individuals and small businesses are best protected when government and the settlement of legal disputes are closest to them where they can be monitored and held accountable, as opposed to being orchestrated by a far-off, out-of-touch national ‘leviathan’ increasingly controlled by elite special interests.

“The American Future Fund calls on members of Congress to reject them as an assault on our constitutional system of government and personal freedoms.”

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