Feb. 1, 2017
Public Citizen Opposes the Republican Assault on Civil Justice
Statement of Lisa Gilbert, Director, Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division
Note: On Thursday morning, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on a slate of three harmful bills: the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act of 2017 (H.R. 720), which would make federal litigation more complicated and costly, and impede consumers’ and employees’ access to the courts; the Innocent Party Protection Act of 2017 (H.R. 725), which would micromanage federal court practice without evidence of a problem; and the Stop Settlement Slush Funds Act of 2017 (H.R. 732), which would impede full remedies for wrongdoing. These bills are expected to pass the Judiciary Committee with strong Republican support.
Each of these bills makes damaging changes to the way that courts operate; taken together, they are a concerted effort chip away at Americans’ ability to seek justice. Their innocent-sounding names aside, these bills pose a grave threat to our court system – the nation’s stronghold for protecting our democracy. In the current political climate, where the justice system is the last line of defense for our nation’s values, we urge lawmakers to further secure, rather than cede, that ground.