What to consider while buying the best cooler?

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If you are looking for the best cooler for the money, then you should read the information mentioned in the below given further paragraphs properly. When you go to buy the cooler, then you will pick the one piece which will worth your money. There are numbers of places from where you can buy the cooler either online offline it depends on you. Yes, you can buy these types of things also online. Coolers are the necessity in summers because of the high heated temperature in the surrounding. So let’s talk about buying the best piece.

Size matters

When it comes to buying the cooler, then the first thing comes in mind, and that is the space. You will definitely go to buy the coolers after deciding the installation place of it. If you are going without the size requirements, then wait and select the size which will be perfect for your place of installation. Some people buy large coolers because they think that they need large capacity and having a lot of space also for installing it. Those people who are restricted with the installation place should consider the size first so that they can buy the exact right piece which they want.

Construction

It does not matter that which cooler you are going to buy it matters that how it has been constructed. For evaluating its construction, you can weigh it and can check the material also from which it has been made. You should check its opening and closing also by the help of lifting its lid so that you can verify for the leaking of the water. By this means you can find the best cooler for the money.

Design

There is no doubt in it that you should buy the one which is made with high-quality material but on the other side, you should look for the design also so that it will look better when you install it. There are nowadays many designs available in the cooler which are amazing. You can pick any one of them which will go with the surroundings of your entire home and will also look much better.

There are numbers of options you can find in the market because it is important to buy to lead a comfortable summer. You can use these factors to know that which one is the best cooler for the money and will result better in its working.


Quick Fat Loss Tips that Work

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Quick Fat Loss Tips can be really effective. We selected for you those easy to remember, easy to follow, and proven Fat Loss Tricks :

Strengh Training and More Proteins

By making or maintaining muscle, your Weight Loss won’t make you Fat AND Skinny.

  • Go to the gym and ask your coach for Strengh Training

Cardio Training

Burning fat will mean more fat loss. Straight.

  • Best aim Elliptical Trainer 45mn thrice or four times a week for optimal fat loss.

Move at each Opportunity

Even slow walk. This will facilitate your fat loss because moving is a natural way to eliminate toxins and fat.

  • Walk when you go somewhere
  • If you don’t go to the gym, schedule a 20 minutes walk every day

Avoid Bad Fats and Sugars

Banish what would replace the fat you want to unstock. They COUNTER your Fat loss.

  • Free your environment of them,
  • and buy only healthy food.

Drink

Green Drinks, Tea, or the easiest : Water. This will make you feel satiated and force your metabolism to use the fat already present in your body, rather than from more food (which would actually just stock more fat).  Also, this water with Phen24 is used to eliminat fat.

  • Drink Water instead of eating or drinking something else.
  • Avoid sodas and alcohol AT ALL COSTS.

Eat moderately every 3 hours

This will induce a lot of effects making fat loss easier.

  • Schedule a moderate (=half) meal every three hours in your day.

Lose Fat just by Sleeping

Easy one, isn’t it ?

  • Go to bed early (10pm)
  • without eating sugar or heavy/rich meals within the previous 3 hours,
  • and sleep at least 7 hours to maximize fat loss

Relax

Stress hormon (namely Cortisol) is a muscle breakdown hormon.

  • So avoid it : smile, take breaks to relax yourself, get perspective, and please yourself.

Eat Some Junk/Normal Food

Yes, counter intuitive, but it has a positive impact on fat loss.

  • Eat normally on a regular basis. 1 to 3 times a week, except bad Fat and Sugars, eat what you like (always in a moderate quantity).

I hope you enjoyed those Quick & Easy Fat Loss Tricks. Enjoy them even more by applying them !


Eat More and Weigh Less

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One might bet that almost everybody likes this idea of eating more to weigh less. But, we’re not talking about more meat, pizza, ice cream and cookies.

Our friends in New Zealand came up with a November challenge. It’s call 5+ A Day program. New Zealanders are encouraged to eat an extra serving of fruits or vegetables every day to improve their health and lose weight.

This weight loss principle is based on the work of Dr. Barbara Rolls of Penn State University. Dr. Rolls, a professor of nutritional sciences and world-recognized researcher on weight loss claims the key to losing weight is to substitute high water content foods into your diet with PhenQ. And, of course, foods with the highest water content are fruits and vegetables. Simply put, fruits and vegetables in your diet supply a satisfying amount of food but with fewer calories.

Studies have shown that people who include lots of fruits and vegetables as a daily diet habit are less likely to be at risk for heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers and obesity. As a child most of us were encouraged to eat our vegetables, some more emphatically than others. We can’t go back and change our youthful eating habits, but as responsible adults we can set good examples for our children and grandchildren in what and how we eat.

I believe most kids eat some fruit. Could this be due to the natural sugar content? There is no question that kids, particularly in the western hemisphere, eat lots of sugar. Oh, they burn more calories than adults as they’re more active and growing but the increased insulin response could lead to some metabolic imbalance later in life.

Nutritionist Bronwen Anderson is quoted, “Eating a rainbow of colour every day is the best thing you can do for your body and overall wellbeing.” It makes sense. You can eat potatoes and a banana every day, but you’ll miss out on the necessary nutrients and health benefits of the red and green fruits and vegetables like apples, tomatoes, kiwifruit, broccoli and spinach.

The 5+ A Day is a great challenge, not only for the month of November, but year around. Analyze the fruit you eat for sugar content using a sugar in fruit chart. And be aware of the various components such as total carbohydrates and fiber. Do the same for vegetables. Be aware of what you eat and be healthy.


Are Flyers and brochures important for the business promotions?

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If you have started a new business, then one has to invest money in a lot of important things such as Promotions, products, and other things. Before starting the business, you should set your budget. You should take the assistance of an experienced business owner.  Surely, he will suggest you important things about business. Apart from that, you have to hire a professional Poster or flyer designer. With the help of an expert designer, one will able to save the money of promotions. Most of the people are making the use of brochures for the promotion and other things.

Let’s discuss the benefits of Flyers and brochures for promotion related tasks.

  • Save the time and money

No doubt, the promotion has become an integral part of every business. If you want to increase the awareness of your business, then promotion is quite important for you. However, you should hire an expert graphic designer that will able to create flyers and brochures for you. With the help of brochure, one will able to attract a lot of traffic towards the business. Overall, it will increase the sale of the business.

  • Improve the sale of business

Nothing is better than a graphic designer that will improve the awareness of your brand. If you don’t want to face any problem in the future, then you should hire a professional graphic designer for it.  After creating high-quality flyers, you will grab an overall growth in the sale. It will automatically increase the profit.  However, after visiting on https://designful.ca, you will able to grab a bunch of information about the graphic designers.  

  • The position of the business

Nowadays, it would be quite difficult to improve the position in the market. After hiring an expert, you will able to improve the reputation of business in the market. It is a really beneficial thing for us because we don’t have to spend money on promotions on other things.

  • Best strategy

It is really best strategy because we have to just paste flyers on the walls. If you don’t have much knowledge about the flyers and brochures, then don’t worry because a professional will give information about everything.

So what’s the final verdict?

Above-mentioned vital points clearly show that a Graphic designer is really beneficial for us that will improve the ranking of your business.


Will State Attorneys General Oppose HR 5 To Protect Federalism

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One of the ways in which attorneys general protect the integrity of state laws and constitutions is by carefully reviewing the actions of the federal government and responding when they break the law or overstep the bounds of the Constitution.

Federalism is the division of authority between the federal and state governments that the Founding Fathers created to provide a check on federal power so that the federal government would not become destructive of the very liberty it was instituted to protect.

So states a press release on the website of the Republican Attorneys General Association. That’s a great statement of the mission of state Attorneys General, and state AGs of both parties have often backed that statement up with real action to defend states’ and individual rights from attack by Uncle Sam.

But thus far, we’ve heard nothing from state AGs about the intention of House Republican leaders, announced from behind closed doors without consultation with the AGs, to force a vote on a sweeping federal takeover of state courts and their jurisdiction over health care-related lawsuits. The leaders are forcing House Republicans to vote for that bill, H.R. 5, and making it difficult to oppose by combining it with the popular bill to repeal part of unconstitutional Obamacare, the section creating the IPAB “death panels.” House Republican leaders then made it very difficult to amend the bill by setting an amendment deadline of 3 pm ET Monday, a time when most House Republicans will still be out of town.

Numerous states’ rights advocates have spoken out against H.R. 5, recently an in the past year. Last week, the National Conference of State Legislators, constitutional scholars Rob Natelson and Ilya Somin, and Tea Party leader Judson Phillips again criticized the bill, reiterating previous denunciations of H.R. 5, or federal tort reform laws in general, by them and by Profs. Randy Barnett and John Baker; Sens. Tom Coburn and Mike Lee; and other conservatives and libertarians,

So it will be up to state AGs to take a stand for their states, and call attention to this overreach in federal power. Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli sharply condemned the Senate version of H.R. 5 last fall but has been strangely silent thus far.

There’s not much time left for House Republicans to hear from the self-proclaimed guardians of state constitutions and of states’ and individual rights.


Second Tea Party Leader Opposes Federal Tort Reform

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A second leader of a national and influential Tea Party group has joined the chorus of conservatives against any federal tort reform law. Judson Phillips, founder of Tea Party Nation, posted on the website yesterday that the jury system is part of the free market, and to interfere with the jury system violates the 7th Amendment to the Constitution. The website requires registration to read the post, but Judson generously allowed me to post a segment of his article.

The free market is a wonderful system. It produces amazing efficiencies and amazing wealth. The free market system has delivered more prosperity to more people than any other system. There is another beauty to the free market system that many people do not think about. The free market system punishes bad behavior. If I open a business and decide to sell something that is a really bad product, people do not come to my business. I have the incentive to produce a really good product because that way people will want to come to my business.

The civil jury system is a part of the free market. Our founding fathers thought enough of it to make it the 7 th Amendment to the Constitution. Jury awards are a part of the free market. They do not exist in a vacuum. They not only compensate someone for an injury but like so many other parts of the free market, they act to deter bad behavior.

If I am injured by a bad doctor or suffer some other type of injury or loss, I do not want the Federal Government telling me what my pain is worth. I want twelve citizens deciding justice for me.

The right to a jury trial has a long and storied history in America and even further back in Britain.

Much as the Federal Government is overstepping its bounds by ordering Americans to buy health insurance, the government is also overstepping its bounds by telling citizens and states how much they can award in law suites and also telling lawyers how much they can be paid. (sic)

The free market is an amazing thing. It needs almost no intervention to achieve the right result, and the civil jury trial is an important part of the free market.

Take a moment to tell your Senators and Congressmen we do not need the federal government telling states what to do and trampling on another one of our constitutional rights.”

This spring, Tea Party Patriots co-founder and national coordinator Mark Meckler voiced his opposition to federal tort reform on the grounds that it violates states’ rights. “Most folks in the tea party movement would say those things should be dealt with at the state level,” Meckler said. “It’s not for the federal government to be adjusting the legal system of individual states.”

It’s great to see these two leaders of the popular movement to restore the primacy of our Constitutional rights forcefully reject the attempt to override state and individual rights. We need to bring these statements to the attention of every Member of Congress, especially the Republicans under pressure to enact federal tort reform.


Quote of the Day Father of Bill of Rights on Jury Trials For Civil Suits

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There is no Declaration of any kind, for preserving the Liberty of the Press, or the Tryal by Jury in Civil Causes; nor against the Danger of standing Armys in time of Peace.”

So wrote George Mason, a delegate from Virginia to the Constitutional Convention of 1787, when he publicly opposed the new U.S. Constitution as proposed to the states for ratification. Mason was an extraordinarily important patriot and Founding Father, and is described as a “political figure to be reckoned with, spoken of in the same breath with Virginians Washington, Jefferson, Madison, Patrick Henry, and Richard Henry Lee.” He was the architect of the Virginia Declaration of Rights in 1776, which preceded the Declaration of Independence and served the cause of liberty from England throughout the Revolution. But at the Constitutional Convention, he objected so strongly to the omission of a Bill of Rights and other weaknesses in the new system of government that he refused to sign the Constitution. Only two other delegates, Elbridge Gerry and Edmund Randolph, agreed with Mason to that degree. It appeared that Mason’s objection would go unheeded as state after state ratified the Constitution.

George Mason would not be deterred. In June 1788, he published a pamphlet, Objections to the Proposed Federal Constitution, laying out his points in detail, including the sentence above. Note that he equated the right to a jury trial in civil suits with freedom of the press, that beloved right ensconced in the 1st Amendment and so often defended by Americans of all political stripes. The pamphlet was enormously popular and eventually won over Thomas Jefferson, then minister to France, who wrote to his friend, James Madison, that he was alarmed by “the omission of a bill of rights.” Madison saw the legal and political imperative of such an addition to the Constitution. After he was elected to Congress, Madison proposed 17 amendments to the Constitution, of which 10 were ratified by the states, including the 7th Amendment.

For his insistence on a Bill of Rights to accompany the new Constitution, George Mason rightfully shares the title of “Father of the Bill of Rights” with Madison.


Trial Lawyers Group President to Speak at Federalist Society Convention

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As a long-time active member of and donor to the Federalist Society, I was excited to see that the theme for this year’s National Convention on November 18-20 is, “Controlling Government: The Framers, the Tea Parties and the Constitution,” and I noticed that the last Showcase Panel, on November 20, will discuss Ideas for Structural Change: Term Limits, Reviving the Right to Civil Jury Trial, Moving Administrative Law Judges to Article III, and Others. I contacted the Society’s leadership and persuaded them to invite C. Gibson Vance, a partner at the firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, PC and current President of the American Association for Justice, to that panel. This is the first time that a President of the largest trial lawyers’ group in the world has been invited to participate in the National Convention at the Federalist Society, and I hope Gibson’s appearance draws wide interest and press coverage. As you can see from his bio, his life has been a true example of the American Dream, having worked starting in his teen years and all the way through law school. I predict that attendees to the panel will see a side of the plaintiffs’ bar that they won’t get in the mainstream media, and they just might be surprised at what Gibson says on this important topic. The Federalist Society’s leadership deserves kudos for reaching out to AAJ and inviting Gibson to appear on the panel.


Trial Lawyers For Religious Liberty Continue Fight Against Obamacare Mandate

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Yesterday, the American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) filed a new lawsuit on behalf of several Catholic organizations in federal court, challenging the final regulations enforcing the Obamacare contraceptive services mandate against religious organizations. Last year, I discussed in numerous posts the lawsuits filed by religious organizations seeking to overturn the regulations prior to their final release. Faith-based groups and their allies across America are protesting the Obamacare-based mandate to force the provision of abortion-inducing drugs and devices through health insurance policies. If successful, the mandate would serve as the template for Uncle Sam to define any religious organization as it sees fit, and to dictate hiring, financial, and all organizational decisions.

AFLC is one of the groups I informally call the “Trial Lawyers For Religious Liberty,” along with the Alliance Defending Freedom, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the American Center for Law and Justice, and Liberty Counsel. These groups, usually allied with social conservative activists and politicians, file civil suits to defend religious liberty and other freedoms protected in the Bill of Rights.

And they often request jury trials for their lawsuits, as is their prerogative under the 7th Amendment. When over 40 Catholic organizations sued to block the mandate, they cited Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 38: “Pursuant to Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Plaintiffs hereby demand a trial by jury of all issues so triable.” That rule begins as follows:

“(a) RIGHT PRESERVED. The right of trial by jury as declared by the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution–or as provided by a federal statute–is preserved to the parties inviolate.”

Some of these cases await a ruling to proceed, while others were dismissed over procedural issues. Personally, I would love to see a jury of Americans hear these cases and decide on the merits.

The Founding Fathers designed a civil justice system, rooted in the right to a jury trial for civil suits, for all cases and causes. Whether for religious liberty, property rights and free speech rights, or for medical malpractice and products liability claims, all civil claims are treated equally under the Founders’ grand design. They would never have supported a “tort reform” movement that seeks to protect doctors and hospitals from deadly negligence, because they knew that abridging Constitutional rights for some endangers the rights of all Americans.


Rob Natelson Obamacare Ruling Renders Republican Health Care Bill Unconstitutional

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Eminent legal scholar Rob Natelson, whose work on the inherent limitations of federal power has been cited often in recent Supreme Court decisions, “now writes that the Supreme Court’s ruling last year on Obamacare renders a bill proposed by House Republicans to limit medical liability unconstitutional. To remind my regular readers, Rob Natelson is the Senior Fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence for the libertarian-leaning Independence Institute in Colorado and an expert on the original meaning of the Constitution. He co-authored an important amicus brief on the “Necessary and Proper Clause” of the Constitution for the Obamacare case, which is cited by other anti-Obamacare legal experts. I’ve written often here on his work on the unconstitutionality of federal limits on damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. So his conclusion in his new work on the impact of the Obamacare decision on proposed federal medical liability limits should strike a serious blow to efforts to push the bill.

He analyzed Title V of H.R. 3121, the “American Health Reform Act” (hereinafter “AHRA”), and concludes that “for Congress to start micro-managing state courts and state juries should frighten anyone who cares about our American constitutional system.” Natelson briefly describes the bill’s key features: “The bill would rewrite personal injury law extensively–and not just in federal courts administering federal law. It would intrude on state courts applying state law. For example, the bill requires state judges and juries to adopt federal standards of proof, federal standards of guilt, federal damage rules, and federal deadlines. It imposes rules for attorneys’ fees that override both state law and private contracts. It even mandates that some useful information be withheld from juries.”

Natelson first points out that the Founders always intended “that state civil justice systems and tort law would remain free of federal control,” and assertions that the Commerce Clause can be used to justify federal limits on medical liability are not based on original intent. “In 2011, I investigated the issue thoroughly, and reported my findings in a detailed paper entitled The Roots of American Judicial Federalism, available at http://constitution.i2i.org/files/2011/11/Roots_Am_Federalism.pdf… That paper showed that (1) a core reason the Founders fought the American Revolution was to assure local control of courts, (2) the Constitution was structured to achieve the same goal, and (3) leading Founders specifically represented–not merely once or twice, but again and again–that state civil justice systems and tort law would remain free of federal control. Despite a few half-hearted assertions to the contrary, the paper’s conclusions have never been seriously challenged.”

Natelson then discusses why the Obamacare ruling further precludes federal medical liability limits. He reviews the history of the “the other component of the Commerce Power,” the “Necessary and Proper Clause” in Article I, Section 8, Clause 18. He then describes the limits on Congressional power in two important rulings:

The leading Supreme Court case on the Necessary and Proper Clause is McCulloch v. Maryland. In that case, Chief Justice John Marshall also explained that the Clause did not grant to Congress any ‘great substantive and independent powers.’ Moreover, in Gibbons v. Ogden (the first great Commerce Power case) Marshall added that ‘health laws of every description’ were outside the federal sphere and exclusively reserved to the states. In other words, under the view of the greatest chief justice in American history, both Title V and Obamacare are utterly unconstitutional.”

Natelson then quotes from Chief Justice Roberts’ ruling that the Obamacare individual mandate violates the Necessary and Proper Clause: The clause “‘does not license the exercise of any “great substantive and independent power[s]’ beyond those specifically enumerated. . . . Instead, the Clause is merely a declaration, for the removal of all uncertainty, that the means of carrying into execution those [powers] otherwise granted are included in the grant. . . . [T]he individual mandate cannot be sustained under the Necessary and Proper Clause as an essential component of the insurance reforms.”

Natelson then applies Justice Roberts’ reasoning to the proposed federal override in the AHRA of state tort law, concluding that proposal is unconstitutional:

Is control of the state court systems a ‘great substantive and independent power?’ You bet it is. The Founders clearly considered the judiciary a very important aspect of government, and the Constitution addressed it in detail. But while prescribing the rules for the federal courts, the framers deliberately omitted any federal role in the state judiciary… The Founders obviously deemed judicial organization and procedure to be a ‘great and independent’ subject, worthy of much constitutional attention. Yet in all procedural and organizational particulars, they left state courts alone. They certainly granted Congress no power to micro-manage them. They left the ‘great substantive and independent power’ of operating the state courts to the states themselves. Under Justice Roberts’ opinion, that’s where it stays.”

Natelson adds that Chief Justice Roberts’ additional ruling that the forced Medicaid expansion in Obamacare violates state sovereignty “buttresses” his conclusion. “As in previous cases, the Court held that ‘commandeering’ infringes core state sovereignty. Infringing core state sovereignty violates the Necessary and Proper Clause because a federal law attacking core state sovereignty is not ‘proper.’ A federal statute dictating to state legislatures, judges, and juries how they manage lawsuits arising under their own state law is of that kind.”

And what of the section in the AHRA titled, “State Flexibility and Protection of States’ Rights?” Natelson dismisses the title as “misleading” and determines that, “In other words, a state may be ‘flexible’ if it does what Congress likes, but not what Congress doesn’t like.”

Robert Natelson joins fellow anti-Obamacare legal expert Prof. Randy Barnett, who said after the SCOTUS Obamacare ruling that, “I will help lead that challenge if ever enacted, and I think we would actually have an easier time defeating that than defeating the (Obamacare) mandate… In fact, this court would strike that down (referring to federal medmal limits)… I’ll be involved in the lawsuit.”

Republicans who oppose Obamacare and truly intend to uphold the original intent of the Constitution should heed Robert Natelson’s warning that they would be supporting an equally unconstitutional exercise of federal power over the states, and they should oppose the bill.

N.B. In recent months, supporters of federal limits on medical liability have pointed to a November 2012 paper written by Paul Clement, who presented the case against Obamacare before the Supreme Court, as proof that the federal liability limits are allowable under the Commerce Clause. However, in his paper Mr. Clement never discussed the impact of the Obamacare opinion on the issue of federal medical liability limits.


Senate GOP Jobs Plan Rewards ObamaCare Forces Crushes States Rights

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The new Senate GOP jobs plan released yesterday by Senators John McCain and Rand Paul might spur economic growth if enacted, but it has one enormous and extremely serious flaw. It explicitly includes a section titled, “Medical Malpractice Reform (S. 197 – The Medical Care Access Protection Act),” abbreviated as the “MCAP Act.” That bill, introduced in January by Republican Senators, is very similar to H.R. 5, the House Republicans’ bill to impose federal limits on health care-related lawsuits, about which I’ve written often here. That bill has been frozen in the House, thanks to the Constitutional and political objections of many House Republicans. By referring to S. 197, the Senate GOP jobs plan would enact many of the goals set forth in H.R. 5.

For starters, the introduction in the MCAP Act states that “health care and insurance industries are industries affecting interstate commerce and the health care liability litigation systems existing throughout the United States are activities that affect interstate commerce.” So the Senate GOP would continue to accept the expansion of the reach of the Commerce Clause begun under Wickard v Filburn, the Supreme Court decision condemned by conservative legal experts such as Randy Barnett and Rob Natelson and by Tea Party-side politicians such as Sen. Paul. That expanded scope reached its most extreme in the enactment of ObamaCare. Professors Barnett, Natelson, and other conservative experts point out that neither “health care” nor “tort law” are among the enumerated powers delegated to the federal government in the Constitution, and that expansion of federal law into those areas violates the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution.

The MCAP Act crushes each state’s right to manage its own civil justice system with respect to any lawsuit related to health care (i.e., providers and insurance companies). It imposes, for the first time in American history, federal limits on certain damages to be awarded in a health care-related lawsuit filed in either federal or state court. It mandates a standard for the award of punitive damages in any health care-related lawsuit filed in any court in America. It establishes, in federal law, a rule to determine the proportionate fault of each party in any federal and state court hearing a health care-related lawsuit. In doing all this, the act, included in the Senate GOP jobs plan, forces a one-size fits-all legal system for these lawsuits on the states. It also abridges our right to a civil jury trial, protected in the Seventh Amendment to the Constitution and beloved by our Founding Fathers.

The MCAP Act explicitly limits an attorney’s fees to a decreasing percentage, based on the increasing value of the amount awarded. Here’s the scale set in the bill:

(1) 40% of the first $50,000 recovered in the lawsuit;

(2) 1/3 of the next $50,000 recovered;

(3) 25% of the next $500,000 recovered; and

(4) 15% of the amount of the recovery in excess of $600,000.

So the bill imposes federal wage controls on just one industry, lawyers who charge contingent fees, regardless of the amounts normally charged by an attorney in the normal course of his business. And the bill lets federal judges cut the contingent fees to be paid for any reason, with no real limit on a judge’s authority. No other profession in America – certainly not the medical profession – face a federal law mandating a specific wage scale. That is outright communism. And the bill changes other legal standards and mandates them across every courtroom hearing any health care-related lawsuit in America.

The House equivalent of the MCAP Act was roundly condemned by Professors Barnett, Natelson, and other conservative legal experts, including two who are highly critical of trial lawyers. All stated that a federal law limiting health care-related lawsuits violates the Constitution and subsumes states’ rights. Professor Barnett, one of the co-counsels in the anti-ObamaCare lawsuit which will probably be heard by the Supreme Court, called Republican backers of H.R. 5 “fair-weather federalists.” The Senate GOP intentionally ignored their warnings and endorsed a sweeping takeover of state health care and tort law and state courtrooms, relying on the same excessive interpretation of the Commerce Clause relied upon by Democrats in enacting ObamaCare.

But it gets worse. This portion of the Senate GOP jobs plan not only grants special legal protection to one industry above all others, but it benefits those medical associations which have endorsed and heavily lobbied for the enactment and implementation of ObamaCare.

That’s right: the Senate GOP caucus, including Rand Paul, is explicitly rewarding the AMA and those medical associations which were the co-conspirators in the enactment of ObamaCare, with its communist individual mandate to buy health insurance. Our Republican Senators are abandoning states’ rights and our right to seek a civil jury trial to protect the doctors, hospitals, and insurance companies who pushed for ObamaCare with the promise of millions of forced patients. They get special legal protection that they don’t deserve and benefiting no other industry or group in America.

We should be stunned, disappointed and angry that Senate Republicans, especially those Members supposedly pledging allegiance to the Tenth Amendment, trashed our rights and the Constitution to help ObamaCare’s backers. We should demand that they abandon that section of the jobs plan and pledge that it will never become law.


Ridiculous Debt Limit Debate Another Argument For Protecting Constitutional Rights FIRST

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One editorial note here about what has been termed by politicians and the public the “ridiculous” debt limit debate as the compromise bill is enacted. Now matter which side you take in the outcome, it should be clear that the issue highlights the massive size and scope of federal power today (80 million checks a month!), and the tendency for that power to eventually overshadow all other facets of Americans’ daily life. That’s exactly what the Founding Fathers feared, and why signers of the Constitution, such as George Mason, Eldridge Gerry and Edmund Randolph, led the movement to ensure that federal power is limited even beyond the language of the Constitution, through enactment of a Bill of Rights. Many wise legal scholars are asserting, correctly, that the Commerce Clause in Article I of the Constitution was never intended as the basis for either ObamaCare or a sweeping federal tort reform/medical malpractice bill. George Mason explicitly warned that, absent a Bill of Rights, the power granted in Article I would eventually overpower both God-given individual rights (including the right to civil jury trials) and the authority which is better left to the states.

In the midst of overheated rhetoric about the intentions of either sides in the debt limit debate (I take particular offense to the characterization of Tea Party activists as “terrorists”), I hope all Americans determine that any enterprise with this much power MUST be limited by strict and pure adherence to the protection of individual and states’ rights. Any politician who adheres to such a belief cannot pick and choose between which rights to protect and the time at which to protect them. The “ridiculous” debt limit debate is the perfect opportunity for those of us who cherish the right to civil jury trials to remind the rest of America that the man who drafted the Bill of Rights, James Madison, referred to that particular right in the highest terms: “as essential to secure the liberty of the people as any one of the pre-existent rights of nature.”


Randy Barnett Are Senate GOP Tort Reformers Federalists in Name Only

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Professor Randy Barnett, co-counsel in the leading lawsuit case against ObamaCare and likely to argue the case before the Supreme Court, takes aim again at federal tort reform proposals in a post on “The Volokh Conspiracy,” this time at the inclusion of S. 197 the “MCAP Act’ tort reform bill, in the Senate GOP jobs plan released last Thursday. “Over the summer I criticized a House Republican medical malpractice reform as “fair-weather federalism” in this op-ed in the Washington Examiner: Tort reform and the GOP’s fair-weather federalism. Now Senate Republicans are emulating their colleagues in the House by including medical malpractice reform as part of their new “jobs” bill. ” I’ve quoted from that piece often here, most recently in my letter to the deficit reduction “supercommittee” considering cuts to future federal spending.

Professor Barnett approvingly quotes from Carrie Severino’s post critical of S. 197 on NRO’s “Bench Memos” today, and personally criticizes the Senate Republicans: “Yes, you read that right. Senate Republicans are claiming that Congress has power over the judiciary of the states because state courts are an activity that “affect[s] commerce.”

He then adds, “With friends like these, constitutional federalism does not need enemies. Can we coin a new pejorative FINO: “Federalists in Name Only”? Oh well, I guess not. But the best thing that can be said about this proposal is that it won’t become law.”

Let’s hope not. I am actually most concerned that pro-tort reformers among the House Republican leadership will ignore the Constitution, transform the Senate GOP plan into a House bill, and force their members into an up-or-down vote as a test of allegiance. Seventh and Tenth Amendment Advocates need to contact the Senate and House and tell them to drop this idea.


Ronald Reagan Constitutional Conservative Not Crony Capitalist

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Yesterday was the 102nd birthday of Ronald Reagan, the greatest President of my lifetime, to whom I owe personal and professional thanks for my marriage (to one of his White House secretaries) and my Washington career (beginning as a Reagan Administration political appointee). His personally autographed photo congratulating us on our marriage is one of our most cherished possessions.

Almost two years ago, I researched all of his speeches and writings available on the internet to determine whether he would be considered a “constitutional conservative” by today’s standards, meaning fidelity to the Bill of Rights, or whether he would stand with today’s “Crony Capitalists” who lobby in Washington for special protection in federal law through the preemption of state law or, worse yet, immunity through federal tort reform. Too many politicians who pass themselves off as constitutional conservatives ditch the 7th Amendment right to civil jury trials and side with Crony Capitalists to protect companies they represent.

I then wrote a special post titled, “What Ronald Reagan REALLY Said About Tort Reform,” which I re-posted in January of last year. The conclusion of my research is crystal clear.

Ronald Reagan was never for federal tort reform. He never proposed a federal tort reform bill in his State of the Union speeches, budget proposals, nomination acceptance speeches, or major addresses on the economy.

Reagan’s silence in the issue is due primarily to his strong belief in the rights of the states and individual, as protected in the Bill of Rights. Reagan understood, better than almost any political figure of our times, the limitations on central power built into the Constitution and fortified by the Bill of Rights. He highlighted his fidelity to federalism in his first Inaugural Address in 1981:

All of us need to be reminded that the federal government did not create the states; the states created the federal government.

And before that, in his 1979 speech announcing his candidacy:

The federal government has taken on functions it was never intended to perform and which it does not perform well. There should be a planned, orderly transfer of such functions to states and communities and a transfer with them of the sources of taxation to pay for them.

That sounds like a constitutional conservative, not a Crony Capitalist. And I remember that Reagan was the presidential candidate for “Main Street Republicans,” including the social conservative movement, while John Connolly of Texas was the guy backed by the “Wall Street Republicans.”

In the decades in which he addressed public policy issues as a commentator, Governor and President, he addressed the issue of federal tort reform apparently only once, near the end of his Presidency. In remarks he gave in Washington in April 1986, he remained true to his roots, saying, “To be sure, much tort law would remain to be reformed by the 50 States, not the Federal Government. And in our Federal system of government this is only right.” That’s a man who knows that Uncle Sam’s authority is limited to the powers enumerated in the Constitution. Unlike many on the left and right today, Reagan would have had no inconsistency between his opinion on Obamacare and his thoughts on federal tort reform. He would have found both unconstitutional.

Reagan would feel right at home with the Tea Party base of the Republican Party that recognizes and honors the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits. He would have stood with legal scholars Randy Barnett and Rob Natelson; Senators Tom Coburn and Mike Lee; and Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli against the takeover of state tort law by the feds. I have to believe that anyone proposing sweeping preemption of the states’ rights to protect citizens and manage courtrooms would’ve drawn severe skepticism or outright opposition by President Reagan.

So thank you, Ronald Reagan, for your vigorous defense of personal and states’ rights, and for so much more.


Dear John Stossel The 7th Amendment Trial Lawyers Probably Saved Your Life

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An open letter to John Stossel at Fox News:

Read your column in the Washington Examiner in which you took off on trial lawyers and said that “for the majority of us, they make life much worse.” Guess you’re doing the same tonight on Fox News. Too bad you didn’t ask the trial lawyers’ national association, the American Association for Justice, if they have examples of how trial lawyers have improved Americans’ way of life in some area (I asked them – they’re my clients – and they said you didn’t call). So much for objective journalism. Too bad you didn’t think about balancing the business community’s screams about trial lawyers with a recognition that the 7th Amendment to the Constitution enables consumers hurt by products that kill them to take the issue to court. Funny, I’ve never seen a juror enter a jury box and come out of it with his arm twisted behind his back. See, I trust my Constitution and I trust juries. So much for 232+ years of Constitutional law (you do remember the Founding Fathers, don’t you, John) and your self-righteous and uninformed indignation.

Anyway, this image downloaded from the AAJ website (any Fox News intern could have found it) gives you a clear example of how the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits has made significant improvements in the safety of the car you drive today. Air bags, seat belts, and side door protection are just some of the features in the car that YOU DRIVE TODAY that came about thanks to lawsuits filed under the 7th Amendment.

Now face it John, as a red-blooded American male, you’ve certainly run some red lights, busted some speed limits, and slammed on your brakes. So my guess is that all those lawsuits over defective auto safety, filed by the surviving families of killed and/or injured victims and their trial lawyers, have probably saved your life at one time or another. Think about that. And next time do your homework before you do an inaccurate, slanted hit piece on some other profession somewhere that saves lives.

P.S. That doctor you quoted in your article – the one moaning about the source of unnecessary procedures? – doesn’t know what he’s talking about. He didn’t do his research either, and, of course, you never challenged his assertion. That’s in my next letter.


Podcasts on Unconstitutionality of Federal Tort Reform

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I want to post links to podcasts of two interviews I’ve recently done on the unconstitutionality of federal tort reform.

The group ‘Let America Know’ interviewed me for their July 12 “You Should Know” newsletter, sent to 50,000 subscribers. In the podcast, I summarized the Founding Fathers’ writings, assertions by legal experts on the unconstitutionality of federal caps on medical malpractice damages and other tort reform measures, and the impact of Texas medmal limits. For regular readers of my work, there’s nothing new, but if someone wants a 15-minute summary of everything I’ve do, this podcast will do nicely (MP3 file). Please note that I recorded the interview before the Supreme Court’s Obamacare decision, so it doesn’t reflect the substantial impact of that ruling on this issue. LAK was founded by Art Kosieradzki, a practicing attorney in Minneapolis, and now partners with state trial lawyer associations and the American Association for Justice, one of my clients, to teach Americans about the civil justice system and Seventh Amendment right to a civil jury trial.

I was interviewed on July 10 by Terry Lowry for his nationally syndicated ‘What’s Up’ program, heard weekdays on 12 radio stations and on Sirius Channel 131, Family Talk Radio, to discuss the post-Obamacare landscape for federal tort reform (MP3 file). That program is the only nationally broadcast program on radio or TV to regularly defend and discuss our constitutional right to a jury trial for civil rights and deserves our support.

I want to thank LAK and Terry Lowry for their invitations to discuss these issues and hope readers will distribute the podcasts nationwide, especially in this election year.


Four GOP Budget Plans Honor Constitutional Rights in Health Care Suits

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While House Republicans consider whether to obey leadership’s demands in a dictated health care policy agenda, they might want to consider that no fewer than four budget plans proposed by Republicans honor constitutional rights in all health care-related lawsuits. None of the four would unconstitutionally threaten to close courtrooms through federal interference with the individual and states’ rights protected in the 7th and 10th Amendments to the Constitution.

First, the House Republican Study Committee, the largest group of mainstream conservatives in the House, already proposed a budget that attracted over 100 votes on the House floor. Many House Republicans instead the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan, but that plan breaks Ryan’s own stated commitment to federalism by enacting federal limits on awards in medical malpractice lawsuits.

Two good budget plans were presented on the floor of the Senate last week. Neither gained enough support to have a full debate and floor vote. But both attracted more votes than the President’s own budget plan, and both represent steps forward in the protection of constitutional rights. Senator Mike Lee proposed a budget, with health care policy based upon securing individual freedom and consumer choice instead of government mandates. Senator Lee has consistently demonstrated his commitment to protecting our constitutional rights in his votes and statements against unconstitutional federal tort reform, as I’ve reported several times here. And Senator Rand Paul’s budget plan attempts to balance the budget in five years and begin paying down the national debt in ten years, all without resorting to a federal limit on awards in medical malpractice or other health care-related lawsuits.

Finally, Senator Tom Coburn’s “Back to Black” budget plan, now the basis of his new book, “The Debt Bomb,” also protects victims’ constitutional rights to present their case in court. The Senator consistently opposes federal medmal limits, and has told me several times that “if the feds can take over state tort law, there’s no reason to even have states.”

House Republicans need not look too far to find options that protect their own promise to uphold constitutional rights. These budget plans, along with Rep. Paul Broun’s “OPTION Act” health care plan endorsed by FreedomWorks, present real alternatives to an unconstitutional federal medmal bill.


In Imam Raufs America There Would Be No Juries for Civil or Criminal Trials

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It’s one thing to build a mosque near Ground Zero – it’s another altogether when the proponent of the mosque is an Imam who believes in imposing Shariah law inside the United States. And that’s what Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, believes is his mission, and that’s what he would pursue inside any completed “Ground Zero mosque.” He already said so on the Huffington Post on April 24, 2009:

In America, we have a Constitution that created a three-branch form of government – legislative, executive and judiciary. The role of the judiciary is to ensure that the other two branches comply with the Constitution. What Muslims want is a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith. Just as the Constitution has gone through interpretations, so does Shariah law.

And what does he mean by referring to “a judiciary that ensures that the laws are not in conflict with the Quran and the Hadith?” For starters, NO JURIES, EVER. A Shariah-trained lawyer for Aramco Oil wrote in 1966 about the complete control that a judge (the “Qadhi”) has inside a Shariah court:

In a Shari’ah court the Qadhi is the central figure. In some instances there may be a Junior Qadhi assisting him, but there are no juries. As an American lawyer, I was at first surprised by the absolute control which the Qadhi maintains over the proceedings before him and by the large discretionary authority at his command. In marked contrast to the more neutral role that a United States trial judge plays, the Qadhi actively participates in the case. Since his role is not to arbitrate, but to actively seek the truth to procure justice, he questions both parties and all witnesses at will. He even concludes cases by convincing the parties to settle their differences by the honorable method of sulh, or compromise, usually on the basis he recommends, when he is in doubt as to which party is in the right.

And that lawyer made it clear that the Qadhi is much more than just a trial of fact and law, he is revered above all other citizenry and leads the community’s religious life:

In the United States a judge is called “Your Honor.” In Saudi Arabia he is called “Your Reverence” and the difference is significant. A judge–more properly, Qadhi–in Saudi Arabia is more than a judge. He is also a religious leader, who leads prayers in the mosque, delivers sermons, advises the Amir of his area on religious matters and hands down fatwas (legal opinions) on matters referred to him. This is at once logical and necessary since the law in Saudi Arabia is rooted in the religious teachings of the Prophet, Muhammad.

So in Imam Rauf’s America, say goodbye to the 7th Amendment right to a jury trial for civil suits (and the 4th Amendment too, of course); farewell to the common law of each of the 50 states, now protected by the 10th Amendment; adios to the 795-year-old right to a jury trial written in blood into the Magna Carta. That’s not my idea of an idea worth defending. Liberals and conservatives, Republicans and Democrats, can find common ground in our Constitution for opposing Imam Rauf’s mission and his mosque.


DIKTAT GOP Beltway Cabal Sets Partys Health Care Policy Updated

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“That’s beyond my pay grade. That’s the speaker. They’re the ones doing that coordination.”

That’s how Rep. Joe Pitts, chairman of a powerful health subcommittee in the U.S. House, described how the House GOP majority is designing its future health care policy.

A small cabal of House GOP Members and leadership staff has recently taken the reins of policy formation away from the rest of the House GOP and the conservative base of the party, and is forcing the Members to accept it, whether it’s constitutional or not. And it’s not. They’re copying what Nancy Pelosi did that drove the GOP nuts when Democrats ran the House.

For almost a year, the House GOP paid attention to constitutional principles and avoided crossing the line by not voting on the House floor for H.R. 5. After all, its finest legal experts wrote time and again that federally imposed limits on medical malpractice lawsuits, especially those imposed in H.R. 5, are an unconstitutional abridgement of states’ and unconstitutional rights. And many GOP Congressmen listened.

The lineup against H.R. 5 is full of GOP legal superstars: Anti-Obamacare superstar Professor Randy Barnett, Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, Federalist Society superstar Professor John Baker, Rob Natelson of the Tenth Amendment Center, Carrie Severing of the Judicial Crisis Network, Hans von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation, Professor Ilya Somin of George Mason Law School, and more. Even Ted Frank and Walter Olson, who sharply criticize the plaintiffs’ bar, warned the House GOP that H.R. 5 is a bridge too far.

And important conservative political figures and groups joined them in condemning federal interference in state civil justice systems: Sens. Tom Coburn and Mike Lee, the Tea Party Patriots group, Judson Phillips of Tea Party Nation, the National Conference of State Legislators, the Cato Institute, and Reps. Ted Poe, Louie Gohmert, Lee Terry, Morgan Griffith, and many others.

Then, two months ago, House Speaker Boehner and his close lieutenants put the Tea Party in the rear-view mirror. They intentionally moved away from principles of limited government in the name of “practical politics,” in order to gain more support from business interests. The new agenda included a cyber-security bill that raises privacy concerns; the reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank (which really angered conservative leaders); and a heavy push for H.R. 5.

The Beltway Cabal has since made it almost impossible for principled GOP Congressmen to vote for the Constitution and against H.R. 5. First, they announced after the House left town that H.R. 5 would be combined with a very attractive bill to repeal the Obamacare “death panels.” Then they fixed the rules so hesitant Members had no opportunity to strip unconstitutional federal medmal limits from that combined bill. When that passed, they shoved H.R. 5 into a budget bill, again with no opportunity for conservatives to vote against it on the House floor.

Both times, GOP Members complained to Speaker Boehner’s office that they were being forced to compromise constitutional principles – the very basis of their opposition to Obamacare – to support special interest legislation for the very groups that backed the enactment of Obamacare. Both times, the Speaker and his Beltway Cabal shut that opposition down with no floor debate or vote.

Multiple GOP Congressmen voted with the Constitution the first time, even though it meant not voting against Obamacare. I’ve been told by individual Members and key staff of “heated” conversations beetween Tea Party-side Republicans and leadership staff, but the Beltway Cabal doesn’t care. Dissenting Republicans are afraid of losing committee seats and campaign dollars – just what Democrats who disagreed with Pelosi faced.

The Beltway Cabal consists of no more than a dozen GOP House Members. The Speaker and the other three top Republicans in the GOP Conference; the chairman of the Rules Commitee, which sets the terms of debate for bills in the House; two committee and subcommittee chairmen; and two powerful Congressmen who were doctors and are committed to medmal limits at all costs are running the show. It’s “the Pelosi Rules,” GOP style.

The message to Tea Party backers and average Americans is that when push comes to shove, the Constitution takes a backseat to Crony Capitalism.

UPDATE, May 22: I discussed this in a radio interview on the “What’s Up” radio program, hosted by Terry Lowry and broadcast on Sirius Satellite Radio and on 12 FM radio stations. You can listen to Segment 1 here and to Segment 2 here.


Civil Litigation Isnt Just Constitutional It Also Saves Lives

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On this website, I discuss the basis in Constitutional law for the civil litigation process and the right to a jury trial for civil suits. That right has practical and beneficial impacts, as described in an op-ed over the weekend in the Washington Post.

Gibson Vance, President of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), the largest trial lawyers’ association in the world, wrote, How Our Cars Got Safer, summarizing how litigation against auto manufacturers is one reason for the drop in trafic deaths to the lowest level in over 60 years. “(W)ithout the civil justice system, gas tanks would still explode in rear-end collisions, seat belts and airbags would not be standard, and cars would roll over onto roofs that would be easily crushed.” Mr. Vance cited as examples the famous Ford Pinto gas tank explosion case and a gruesome case in which a power window strangled a child.

Mr. Vance wrote his op-ed based on a detailed study conducted by AAJ of changes in auto safety as a result of civil litigation and the exercise of the 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial. On a special page on the AAJ website, you can download AAJ’s report, “Driven to Safety: How Litigation Spurred Auto Safety Innovations,” and an interactive graphic showing you which car parts, now standard in every car, were forced upon the industry thanks to lawsuits (it’s a pretty neat graphic). From door latches to the tires to electronic stability control, many of the most important safety features of your car were installed after civil suits won by Americans with the help of their trial lawyers.

AND – that’s not the only consumer product positively impacted by civil suits. AAJ also has conducted studies of the impact of civil litigation on toys used by our children and on the treatment of our elderly relatives and friends by nursing homes (each with neat and educational interactive graphics). As Mr. Vance wrote in his op-ed, “History shows that litigation and the civil justice system have served as the most consistent and powerful forces in heightening safety standards, revealing previously concealed defects and regulatory weaknesses and deterring manufacturers from cutting corners on safety for the goal of greater profits.”

Let your relatives and friends know about these studies and tell your Congressmen. Civil litigation is not only Constitutional, it saves lives too.


How Conservative Candidates Can Blunt Mediscare Campaigns

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Republicans running for Congress next year, whether incumbents or first-timers, will face a barrage of ads charging that they’ll cut or even kill Medicare. We’ve seen that in the two most recent special Congressional elections in NY and Nevada, and it didn’t work, but in part because the Democratic candidate in each district was a very weak candidate with little to offer voters. Republicans will need every idea possible to avoid being tarred. One idea that I hope Republicans will support is included in a bill introduced into Congress this year, numbered H.R. 1063, and titled, the Strengthening Medicare And Repaying Taxpayers Act of 2011, or “SMART Act.” This bill helps to replenish the Medicare Trust Fund, make Medicare work for seniors instead of the other way around, and reduces paperwork burdens for businesses. And believe it or not, it’s a bipartisan Medicare bill, with the broadest swath of Congressman supporting it you’ll ever see. More on that later.

Here’s why we need to enact the SMART Act: When seniors on Medicare are hurt in an accident and sue the other party, they often file conditional Medicare claims to pay for treatment. Federal law requires the injured person’s attorney to repay Medicare upon a judgment or settlement, before any funds are given to the injured senior. CMS, the federal agency that runs Medicare, is supposed to give the attorney a final figure for the total amount to repay, but CMS is slow and inaccurate. The attorney is barred by federal law from transferring the settlement to the senior, even if CMS takes forever to provide a final amount for repayment. As a result, it can take years to finally pay off even the smallest claim, and the senior doesn’t see a dime of the settlement. At a Congressional hearing this summer, Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL), discussed the problems at CMS: “Businesses and injured individuals routinely negotiate a settlement, but cannot close on the settlement until CMS provides a complete list of all medical costs incurred. We have heard complaints from a variety of interested parties that CMS is not providing this information in a consistent or timely manner. CMS’s delays cause lawsuits to drag on, hinders timely payments to injured individuals, and causes uncertainty and increased costs for both large and small businesses.”

Here are a couple of anecdotes provided at the hearing about the problem: 1. A woman who was in a car accident suffered chest wall contusions and reported the settlement to Medicare. Years later, that woman is diagnosed with breast cancer. CMS denied her claim for treatment on the grounds that her breast cancer is related to her prior car accident, leaving the insurance company liable for the claims. 2. CMS actually sends dunning letters to seniors years after the accident that gave rise to the initial claim, for amounts as little as $1.59, $2.00, and $4.00, and regularly fails to respond in a timely fashion to phone calls and letters requesting information and assistance from either businesses or seniors. 3. CMS imposes a mandatory $1,000 per day per claim penalty on businesses for failure to properly report a MSP claim, even for small errors or technical problems that occur through no fault of the business.

The SMART Act takes care of all that. It streamlines the process, establishes real deadlines for CMS for claims processing, and enables businesses to meet CMS reporting requirements while maintaining data security. And it’s cost-neutral, according to two economists’ studies.

That’s why the co-sponsors of the SMART Act in the House include the full spectrum of views represented in the House, such as Reps. Ron Paul and Diana DeGette; Allen West and Linda Sanchez; Peter Roskam and Tammy Baldwin. On what other bill would you find such an amazingly wide group of Congressional supporters? Rep. Roskam, one of the top House Republicans, called the bill “the only bipartisan Medicare bill in the whole world” at a dinner a couple of weeks ago. And the bill is supported by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and scores of companies, including Safeway, Lowes, Best Buy, Marriott International and WalMart. The SMART Act is THE Medicare bill that Republicans can discuss with seniors back home without fear of blowback by Democrats. A bipartisan Senate bill is supposed to be introduced soon. I hope all Republicans hop on board and support the SMART Act, H.R. 1063.


Congressional Champions For American Victims of Irans Terrorism Updated August 10

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Last week, Congress enacted H.R. 1905, a new Iran sanctions bill with a provision assisting American victims of Iran’s terrorism and hopefully enabling the single biggest takeaway of money from a state sponsor of terrorism in 30 years. The survivors and families of the 1983 bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, Lebanon; the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers apartment building in Saudi Arabia; and other families of victims of individual attacks have already obtained judgments against Iran in federal court and attached an account in a New York City bank with almost $2 billion in Iranian funds. Section 502 of the new law strips Iran’s central bank of immunity over that account, which should allow the families to collect on their judgments.

(UPDATE: Pres. Obama signed H.R. 1905 into law on August 10.)

The campaign to enact the new law was arduous and has taken years of litigation and repeated trips to Capitol Hill to discuss the matter with Congress. Complex issues of international banking and commercial law and federal civil procedure made this a very difficult drafting and legislative effort. The leaders in each house of Congress and those who sponsored bills for the families in the House and Senate this term led the way in pushing for this new law. All deserve thanks from the families for their support.

I’ve represented American victims of terrorism on Capitol Hill for over 7 years, and I’ve been honored to serve the Beirut Marine families as a senior legislative strategist. I want to highlight some of the key Members who played a special role in its enactment.

Senators Robert Menendez (NJ) and Mark Kirk (IL) sponsored the first Senate version of the bill to assist the families. When Sen. Kirk suffered a stroke in January, Sen. Menendez worked for bipartisan support all the way to enactment. Sen. Menendez and the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, Sen. Tim Johnson, included it in the first draft of the Iran sanctions bill in the Senate Banking Committee in February, and their staffs devoted an incredible number of hours to ensuring that the language would punish Iran and assist the families. Sen. Kirk’s senior staff continued to express the Senator’s strong support behind the scenes as the Senator recovers.

Rep. Bob Turner (NY) quickly agreed to sponsor a separate bill in the House, H.R. 4070, and he and his staff urged other Members to co-sponsor. I’ve included a YouTube video of Rep. Turner’s speech about the bill on the House floor below. The families will always remember and honor Rep. Turner as their first champion in the House.

The chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), always a champion for terrorism victims, was the first senior Republican to co-sponsor H.R. 4070. Her staff shepherded the bill through the House towards a conference with the Senate and provided invaluable guidance.

Rep. Brad Sherman (CA) was among the first co-sponsors of H.R. 4070, and worked with the families to gather other co-sponsors. Rep. Sherman’s support is no surprise, as he has always pushed for legislation and oversight activities benefitting American victims of international terrorism. I cannot imagine what terrorism victims would do without Rep. Sherman in Congress. Rep. Rob Andrews (NJ), another longtime supporter for terrorism victims, also signed onto the House bill very early, and his staff recruited other co-sponsors.

Three House committee chairmen and one ranking Democrat agreed to co-sponsor H.R. 4070, providing an institutional imprimatur that is critical to enactment of any law. They include Rep. Spencer Bachus (AL) of the Financial Services Committee, Rep. Peter King (NY) of the Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. John Conyers, ranking Democrat of the Judiciary Committee. And the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, Rep. Lamar Smith (TX), and his counsel provided the final impetus for the bill during the final stages of enactment through timely and detailed support for specific language, without which the bill might have failed.

The Iran sanctions law, now numbered H.R. 1905, heads to the President for his signature, and then a federal judge will hopefully see fit to apply the law in a way that results in the families taking almost $2 billion of Iran’s money.

We should remember that this achievement for terrorism victims started with a group of Americans exercising their constitutional rights by filing a civil suit through their trial lawyers. The Founding Fathers built one civil justice system for all cases and causes, including for civil suits filed to punish terrorists and take their money.

I discussed the bill last Friday on the “What’s Up” radio program, hosted by Terry Lowry and broadcast on 12 radio stations and on Sirius satellite radio, Channel 131. You can listen to the first segment here and to the second segment here.


Conservative Trial Lawyers Sue to Save Home Bible Study Property Rights

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I constantly remind Republicans and Tea Partiers that the same civil justice system used by trial lawyers to file medical malpractice and product liability cases is also utilized by conservative trial lawyers to file civil suits to protect property rights, religious liberty, gun owners’ rights, and parental rights from government at all levels. Here are two more cases that illustrate the need to protect our constitutional rights.

1. Who would have believed that a simple home construction project could turn into a Supreme Court case? In 2005, Mike and Chantell Sackett bought a small piece of land in a residential subdivision in Idaho, so they could build their own house, and they obtained all the permits required under the law. But as they began building the house, the EPA suddenly informed them, without prior warning, that their land is “wetlands” under federal law, and ordered the Sacketts to return the state of the property to EPA’s liking or suffer $37,500 per day in fines. The Sacketts hired experts on their own dime who certified that their parcel is not wetland, but the EPA didn’t care. When the Sacketts filed suit in federal court against EPA, the EPA challenged their constitutional right to bring such a suit, alleging they would first have to restore their property, seek a “permit” (which costs twelve times the purchase price of the land), and then file a lawsuit when the permit was denied.

The federal district court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with EPA, but the Supreme Court has granted the cert petition filed by the Sacketts’ attorneys at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation. The issues are whether landowners can sue EPA in court immediately after receiving an EPA compliance order issued under the Clean Water Act; and if not, whether that preclusion violates the Due Process Clause of the Constitution? In the brief filed this month with the Court, PLJ framed the situations as follows:

The Sacketts have never been offered any opportunity for meaningful review of the compliance order. EPA has no administrative process the exhaustion of which will produce an action reviewable in court. The Clean Water Act’s compliance order enforcement provisions do not provide meaningful review, either. The Sacketts cannot initiate such review, but instead are left to the mercy and whim of EPA, never certain whether or when the agency will bring an enforcement action. Such review is available, if at all, only by ignoring or violating the compliance order and thereby incurring the potential for sanctions of up to $37,500 per day. Even if the Sacketts comply with the order, they still cannot seek judicial review.

The Founding Fathers must be rolling over in their grave. This is bureaucratic dictatorship of the type that Jefferson, Madison, Adams, and other patriots fought with their “lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.”

2. Imagine that you are hosting some friends once a week at your house to discuss passages from the Old or New Testament or the Koran, when the city government accuses you of improperly running a church, fining you $300 and demanding that you get a city permit before inviting your friends back. Think you would sue the city? That’s what happened to Chuck and Stephanie Fromm in the City of San Juan Capistrano, California. A city official told Mr. Fromm that he needed a permit to hold regular gatherings of more than three people, and the Fromms would be fined $500 per meeting if they didn’t get one! The Fromms are appealing the city’s decision to the California Superior Court in Orange County, with the help of the Pacific Justice Institute (no relation to the Pacific Legal Foundation cited above).

Only in a PC-crazy environment could a group of four people be labeled a “church,” just because they’re studying their scripture. And it’s especially ironic that this case occurred in a city founded as a religious mission!

Civil suits and trial lawyers are just as critical to protect social conservative causes as they are claims based in economics. Any effort to limit access to the civil justice system compromises everyone’s right to seek justice and prevent governmental bodies from imposing their will over our lives.


Conservative Think Tank Discovers Importance of 7th Amendment Right to Civil Jury Trial

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The Discovery Institute is a conservative think tank headquartered in Seattle, Washington, dedicated to “the reinvigoration of traditional Western principles and institutions and the worldview from which they issued.” The Institute has a special focus, to emphasize “the role that science and technology play in our culture and how they can advance free markets, illuminate public policy and support the theistic foundations of the West.”

The Institute is now highlighting a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by a former employee of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). David Coppedge was a 14-year veteran and the senior member of the JPL team that oversees computers for NASA’s mission to send a satellite to Saturn, one of the most complicated in its history. He is also a fervent Christian and believer in the “intelligent design” theory of history, which contrasts with Darwin’s theory of evolution, and he manages a website on creationism.

Over the course of a decade, Coppedge periodically discussed “intelligent design” with co-workers and offered them DVDs on the subject. Then, in March 2009, Coppedge’s manager ordered him to stop “pushing religion,” which resulted in an argument between the two, with Coppedge finally agreeing to halt such discussions. A month later, JPL suddenly demoted Coppedge and warned him that he had violated the ethics policy. Coppedge filed a discrimination suit against JPL in Los Angeles. JPL responded to the lawsuit by firing Coppedge. Mr. Coppedge is being defended by attorney William J. Becker Jr., who is supported by the Alliance Defense Fund, the outstanding group defending religious liberty across America.

On November 18, a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled Friday that Mr. Coppedge is entitled to exercise his 7th Amendment right to a civil jury trial against the JPL. In an interview on the nationally syndicated ‘What’s Up’ radio program, Discovery’s legal affairs policy analyst, Joshua Youngkin, explained to host Terry Lowry the “very significant point” of the judge’s ruling:

The jury and not the judge will determine whether or not David Coppedge had his rights infringed. And that’s a very important right that we all cherish.”

As Terry Lowry pointed out, the right to a trial by jury was listed in the Declaration of Independence above the right to bear arms. Whether you believe in “intelligent design” or the Darwin theory of evolution is irrelevant. Every American is entitled to assert, before a local jury of peers, whether adverse employment actions were the result of religious discrimination. Americans who want to “tort-reform” away cases involving medical malpractice with damage caps and procedural hurdles rarely stop to think whether the tort reformers would then turn against other rights protected in the Bill of Rights.

You can listen to the pertinent portion of Terry Lowry’s interview of Joshua Youngkin on the “What’s Up” program by downloading this short podcast.


Being Offended by Mom Jokes

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I love my mom. I love her because she is great. I love her because she did wonderful things for me and in general is a wonderful person to everyone else.

But I’ve been in a car, in a mall, in line at a grocery store, at the beach… and not all moms are created equal. Moms have cut me off, cut me in line, blown smoke in my face, dug through their purse for a pen for too long, answered their cell phone in a movie theater and any number of other things on the List. They’re equally as annoying as the rest of the personnel of this planet and the fact that they pushed a few brats out doesn’t change that. Loving your own mom is one thing, but being universally offended by any wrongdoing to someone else’s mom is another.

Moms are the focus this week for two reasons: Mother’s Day is fast approaching, and the big story in sports news is how the GM of the Miami Dolphins decided to ask Dez Bryant, potential player and future employee if his family life makes him somehow ineligible to earn 40 million guaranteed dollars over the next few years. He basically asked the dude whether or not his mother is a whore. Woops.


Do I defend the “Is your mother a prostitute?” question posed to Bryant on the eve of the NFL draft?
No. But do I scoff at it like I would if the Dolphins took the ball up the field for 6 against the linebacker-less Patriots? Hell no. That gridiron offense gets my blood boiling more than a “your mother is so fat…” joke.

This kid’s mom has been in and out of prison, and could, as tough as this may be for anyone in the world to hear, be a giant pain in the ass to a potential employer. This isn’t a white collar job. This is a job where a player’s baggage is likely to be the number one influence on his potential performance. All of these athletes are beyond world class athletically, they have to be judged and nitpicked in a way that we aren’t used to.

Nobody has ever asked me if my mom was a prostitute at a job interview because nobody has ever offered me 40 million dollars before. If they were going to offer me that I wouldn’t care if they asked me if my mom was a dude. A dude named Hitler. My answer would be no. She isn’t and never has been. Not that I know of.

That was easy, right? Am I offended the Dolphins asked? Who cares if I am? If I don’t like the question, I don’t have to work for you. If Dez doesn’t like the question, then don’t work for the Dolphins.

The notion that men who follow sports are outraged beyond belief at this question is absolutely hilarious. Hilarious. Think about the last time you genuinely did something good for your own mom, then ask yourself if you really have the right to be mad that someone else’s mom was wronged. We don’t respect women, pretty much ever, so why start now?

We treat women like crap all the time. Tiger Woods merchandise had a phenomenal selling week during the Masters. Ben Roethlisberger jerseys will be in the top ten again at some point before his time in this league is through. The Dolphins GM asked if this kid’s mom was a prostitute, and I personally think it is stupid, but the reality is I see moms on the street every day, they aren’t exactly a rare species of endangered magic butterflies. I don’t live my life acting as if they are irreproachably precious every other day of the year, so why start pretending now.

I wonder what Bryant’s answer was to the question was anyway?

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