This week the traveling roundup of law-related posts is hosted by a nonlawyer — one who got sued over his blogging — in celebration of World Press Freedom Day. [Public Intellectual via Popehat; earlier coverage of the case]
In June, a committee of the Oregon Legislature stuck some language into a bill that would (I think) have briefly redefined “no” as “yes.” Allegedly, Democrats were trying to head off an initiative they feared Republicans would later put on the ballot, asking voters to reject a spending measure. The bill provided that a vote to reject the measure would be counted as a vote to adopt it:
A measure referred to the people by referendum petition may not be adopted unless it receives an affirmative majority of the total votes cast on the measure rejecting the measure. For purposes of this subsection, a measure is considered adopted if it is rejected by the people.
Missed this Volokh.com thread from a month ago on the subject. My explanation (summed up in a speech ten years ago) overlaps but does not exactly duplicate Orin Kerr’s; a wide variety of opinions get aired in the comments.
Eugene Volokh recalls (with a followup) a groundbreaking 1973 case in which the Tenth Circuit ruled that it could be found negligent for a supermarket to have installed a silent alarm that summoned the police when a holdup was in practice; a hostage was killed in the resulting shootout. The case is consistent with others in which lawyers have advanced theories summed up in the phrase “negligent provocation”.
I’ve been biting my fist while I read the recent series of guest posts on tort reform and medicine on andrewsullivan.com, such as this one. Lots of readers breezily asserting that there’s no problem, pretty much a fact-free debate. I’ve emailed them myself, but no luck so far….
P.S. More or less relatedly, Democratic strategist Bob Beckel sees medical liability reform as the possible pivot of a health care deal [Real Clear Politics]
P.P.S. Sullivan’s guestblogger Patrick Appel has now posted good emails from one reader dismantling some of the trial bar talking points that had figured prominently in earlier posts:
Easily disprovable lie #1: Texas malpractice insurance rates have declined every year since tort reform was enacted. Here’s a link to TMLT, the largest insurer in Texas…
[#3:] …the inflation-adjusted decrease in overall indemnity payments is due precisely to tort reform, primarily in the country’s largest economy, California, where MICRA was established in 1974. In non-tort reform states, indemnity payments have steadily increased. In Illinois, which only adopted tort reform in 2007, the average (pdf, page 15) indemnity payment increased from $70,000 in 1980 to $630,000 in 2008. If you adjust for inflation, those 1980 dollars would only be $182,943.81 in 2009. Clearly, this is not a decrease. …
As readers may have noticed, I’m a big booster of Lenore Skenazy’s wonderful Free-Range Kids website (subtitle: “Giving our kids the freedom we had without going nuts with worry”), and yesterday she returned the favor with some more than kind words about this site (“great, nay mindblowing”) and a discussion of our recent post about a Staten Island mother’s suit against Little League and volunteer coaches. Interesting reader discussions ensue. (Also, more on her book here.)
While on the topic of that Little League suit, Rick Reilly of ESPN Magazine has a new column that a lot of people are talking about: “A tale of two Little Leaguers”
Get your copy today!My new book tackles the question of why so many bad ideas come from the law schools. "Cutting-edge commentary, hard-hitting, witty, astute." -- Publisher's Weekly. "Excellent... A fine dissection of these strangely powerful institutions" -- Wall Street Journal.