Every American worker and consumer has a constitutional right to American courts. Civil justice is the only mechanism by which American workers and consumers can keep corporate greed and irresponsibility under control. This right is as sacred as the right of habeas corpus.
Beginning with the Reagan administration in the 1980s, the executive department has attempted to develop a "statutory method" that prevents American workers and consumers from having their day in court. The preventive feature, called preemption, consists of statutory language that makes it illegal for a state or federal court to hear the claims of workers and consumers regardless of the merits. It's hard to imagine any democratic system that takes away a man's right to complain, but "preemption" does just that.
During the remaining 60 days of Pres. Bush's term, the Bush administration is trying to "push" through 21 regulations that contain preemption language, virtually a "get out of jail free" pass for corporate greed and irresponsibility. The regulations constitute a major assault on the middle-class, working families, and consumers, including among other things limitations on lawsuits involving safety standards for over-the-counter drugs, sunscreen products, automobile roof crush safety standards and crashworthiness of railroad cars that transport hazardous materials.
View "Get out of Jail Free: How the Bush Administration Helps Corporations Escape Accountability." View a list of regulations . American Association for Justice, 11/20/2008