NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Voters Wise Up To Tort Lawyers

November 13, 2002

Results in several elections last week suggest that voters want tort law reform. Defenders of the plaintiffs' bar were trounced in several key races.

  • In Mississippi, Justice Chuck McRae -- who was set to become chief of the state Supreme Court and whose rulings had helped to make the state a honey pot for out-of-state trial lawyers -- came in last in a field of three candidates, and even lost in his home county.
  • Trial lawyer candidates also lost in two key Mississippi appeals-court races.
  • In Ohio, voters shifted the 4-to-3 balance of the state Supreme Court to the right -- which bodes well for reforms, including education reform.
  • Conservative candidates for judgeships nearly swept the field in North Carolina last week -- and Democrats are openly wondering if a liberal can win a statewide judicial race.

Even in Washington, it now appears that tort reform is no longer the hopeless quest it once appeared to be. At least, politicians have been put on notice that opposition to it can carry the ultimate political price, political observers point out.

Source: Editorial, "The Tort Lawyers Lose," Wall Street Journal, November 13, 2002.

For text (WSJ subscribers)


Browse more articles on Government Issues