WASHINGTON, D.C., May 14, 2015: Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron released the following statement today in response to passage of two bills by the House Judiciary Committee:
Two bills approved by the same House committee on the same day illustrate congressional Republicans’ agenda to stop the poor, the sick and the vulnerable from standing up for their rights in court.
The so-called Furthering Asbestos Claims Transparency (FACT) Act is nothing more than an attempt to take away access to justice for victims of asbestos-related illnesses. They deserve better than the burdensome reporting requirements, invasion of privacy, and unnecessary delay on compensation claims that this bill is pushing. House Republicans should call this bill what it really is: the ‘delay till they die’ act.
The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act is another attempt at limiting justice in our courts. In 1983, an effort to remove judges’ discretion over whether to impose penalties when they believe a lawsuit is frivolous backfired. Litigation costs and delays increased, while the filing of meritorious cases—particularly civil rights and employment cases—was chilled. This disastrous experiment was thankfully abandoned. The Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act would repeat this calamity. It looks as though House Republicans have learned nothing from the past.
Alliance for Justice, www.afj.org believes that all Americans have the right to secure justice in the courts and to have their voices heard when government makes decisions that affect their lives. We are a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. Through our justice programs, we lead the progressive community in the fight for a fair judiciary, and through our advocacy programs, we help nonprofits and foundations to realize their advocacy potential.