Ted Frank of the American Enterprise Institute adds to the already invaluable Overlawyered.com reporting on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act, cautioning against thinking the litigation is the answer to the law’s economic harm. From “Is litigation the answer to the CPSIA problem?” Frank comments:
It certainly seems unfair that Congress can wipe out thousands of businesses with the stroke of pen. It’s certainly bad public policy: as I have written elsewhere, when legislatures act to retroactively disrupt settled expectations, the effects redound far beyond the targeted industries to create uncertainty throughout the economy.
It’s a jump, however, from “bad public policy” to “unconstitutional,” and I am concerned that I see many lay blogs asserting otherwise.
He notes that an attorney is prominently trolling for clients and cash to file a class-action lawsuit and concludes:
Sending money to a lawyer to litigate the CPSIA is throwing good money after bad. That a law is unsound does not make it unconstitutional and vice versa. The road to solving the problem of the CPSIA is through Congress, either by making Democratic legislators see common sense, or electing legislators who aren’t so willing to sign off on bills constructed by trial lawyers to benefit themselves at the expense of society at large. Spending resources on doomed litigation diverts from the pressure needed to get Congress to change its mind.
See also Walter Olson’s latest…
In the last post, he notes: “Yesterday (Friday) the Consumer Product Safety Commission published a bundle of letters it received pro and con on proposed exemptions from the lead rules. Plenty of raw material here for CPSIA-watchers (long PDF file); “