From the Last Debate: Tort Reform Mentioned in Passing

By October 17, 2008Briefly Legal

We must have missed it first time around in that brief moment of involuntary blinking.

In Wednesday’s presidential debate (transcript), Bob Schieffer asked both candidates to cite an example of breaking with their party.

Obama: Well, there’s a lot of stuff that was put out there, so let me try to address it. First of all, in terms of standing up to the leaders of my party, the first major bill that I voted on in the Senate was in support of tort reform, which wasn’t very popular with trial lawyers, a major constituency in the Democratic Party. I support…

McCain: An overwhelming vote.

The legislation Senator Obama is referring to is the Class Action Fairness Act, which passed the U.S. Senate on February 10th, 2005, with a vote of 72-26. (Roll Call vote here.) The NAM strongly backed the legislation, which 18 Democrats voted to support.

Ted Frank of the American Enterprise Institute has written on Senator Obama’s record on legal reform issues  here and here.


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