Editorials and Opinion
Editorial: Our View Don't weaken shark-fin bans (Honolulu Advertiser, 06/25/13)
"Hawaii was the first state to ban the hideous practice of ocean fishermen slicing off sharks' fins for use in a soup delicacy in Asian countries and throwing the still-alive bodies back to the sea. California, Washington and Oregon are among other states that have followed in banning the sale or distribution of shark fins — and these tough state laws should be aided, but not superceded, by proposed federal rules aimed at eliminating at-sea fin removal."
Editorial: Fight House ploy on state's animal rights (Los Angeles Daily News [CA], 06/17/13)
"Congress this week will consider an amendment to the federal farm bill that would negate several important food-safety and animal-rights laws passed in recent years by California voters. The amendment to the broad-reaching federal law, introduced by Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, is bad policy that would override the wishes of Californians and threaten progressive anti-cruelty laws such as the state's shark-fin ban"
Editorial: Meat supply's safety should be a priority: U.S. Supreme Court ruling will have national consequences. (Minneapolis Star Tribune [MN], 11/25/11)
"we hope the justices will uphold the 3-0 decision made by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which called the meat producers' argument "hogwash."
This is a case worth watching, because the Supreme Court's ruling could have ramifications for slaughterhouses, meat producers and animal-rights advocates around the country. . . . If California prevails -- and it's our hope that it will -- then states will have the right to impose stricter rules to protect public health and animal welfare as long as they don't interfere with federal rules."
Editorial: The Court and Global Warming (New York Times, 04/19/11)
"For the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, two Bush appointees (one by the father, the other by the son) held that the prospect of regulation by the federal government is not enough to make this lawsuit go away. What the judges noted remains incontestable today: “E.P.A. does not currently regulate carbon dioxide” by requiring “control of such emissions” from existing power plants. ... Yet the failure of the federal government to act, which has gone on for many years, doesn’t mean the plaintiffs must wait until it does. As the Second Circuit writes, they “may seek their remedies under the federal common law,” including made by justices. The Supreme Court has upheld a lawsuit preventing the discharge of sewage that made the Mississippi River unfit. It has upheld limits of noxious emissions of sulfur from copper foundries in Tennessee that were destroying Georgia forests. There are other clear-cut precedents."
Editorial: The Court’s Pre-emption Test (New York Times, 10/19/10)
"That prohibition is called pre-emption, a hot issue in constitutional law because it is at the heart of the balance of power between states and the federal government — the meaning of federalism. At stake is the ability of states to protect their citizens, by regulating health, safety, the environment, and other primary interests and by giving victims of wrongdoing redress in court, as long as a state law doesn’t conflict with a federal law. ... When the Roberts court, the most conservative in half a century, rules on pre-emption cases, the more conservative justices have sometimes taken an anti-federalist position in support of business, the more liberal ones a federalist stance in favor of vindicating people’s rights in state courts."
The Supreme Court’s Activist, Pro-Corporate Opinions and Case Selection (American Constitution Society Blog, 04/27/10)
Judging the Environment's Glenn Sugameli Guest Post: "understanding how the activist Court has undermined laws that protect ordinary Americans requires that attention must be paid to one-sided decisions whether or not to review environmental and other cases."
An Impressive First Nominee (New York Times, 04/15/09)
NY Times editorial on President Obama's nomination of district judge David Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit, his pro-access to courts ruling on preemption, and threats to filibuster his nomination.
Editorial: Drugs v. Devices (New York Times, 03/14/09)
"Now that the Supreme Court has ruled that patients can sue drug companies in state courts for harm caused by medicines approved by the Food and Drug Administration, Congress ought to give patients the same right to sue makers of medical devices."
Editorial: FDA needs poison pill (Philadelphia Daily News [PA], 03/09/09)
"THANKS TO A landmark decision by the U.S. Supreme Court last week, Diane Levine will get to keep $6.7 million that a Vermont jury awarded her in a suit against the pharmaceutical giant Wyeth."
Editorial: The public wins one (St. Petersburg Times [FL] , 03/07/09)
"It is relatively rare these days for average folks to defeat business interests before the U.S. Supreme Court. That's why the ruling Wednesday that kept the door open for patients to sue drugmakers in state court was an encouraging victory."
Editorial: Drug-case ruling improves protection (Burlington Free Press [VT] , 03/06/09)
"Given the sorry state of consumer protection in this country after eight years of gutting both regulations and enforcing agencies, having a recourse outside of the federal system is an important option for people who suffer harm."
Healthy ruling (Toledo Blade [OH], 12/18/08)
Editorial on Supreme Court's 5-4 ruling refusing to preempt lawsuits v. "light" cigarettes. "The unusually consumer-friendly ruling was a setback for tobacco companies before a court that typically has limited state regulation of business in favor of federal power."
America's access to justice at risk (The Times of Trenton [NJ] , 11/23/08)
Op-Ed by Arthur H. Bryant: "many of those with power -- in both the public and private sectors -- have had few restraints....They could only be held accountable in the courts. So they unleashed an unprecedented, calculated, and fundamentally un-American attack: ...They are using many tactics, but three are critical -- federal preemption, mandatory arbitration, and class action bans. If these three succeed, most Americans can kiss many of their rights goodbye."
Editorial: Court should stand with injured patients (St. Petersburg Times [FL] , 11/12/08)
"47 states, including Florida, as well as consumer advocates and medical groups submitted briefs on behalf of Levine. They say that allowing suits in state courts for damages when injuries arise is one of the key methods of ensuring drug safety."
Editorial: The FDA's risky prescription (Boston Globe, 11/07/08)
A "drug company is trying to get the Supreme Court to rule that an FDA-approved warning label on its drug shields it from a $6 million lawsuit by a woman who lost her forearm when the drug was badly administered. The company, Wyeth, is seeking to have the justices legislate from the bench by finding that an FDA-approved label gives the firm preemptive protection. The court should say no."
Editorial: The Court Confronts a Grievous Injury (About.com, 11/07/08)
"For the court to broadly endorse the concept of “implied pre-emption” in this case would show disrespect for the considered decisions of Congress and could foreclose injury suits involving not only drugs, but also motor vehicles, household products and other things. The ultimate effect would be to undermine consumer safety. Far from usurping the F.D.A.’s power, litigation aimed at holding drug companies liable for problems like those in this case complement the agency’s efforts to protect the public."
Editorial: Protecting pharmaceuticals (Baltimore Sun, 11/07/08)
Our view: Consumers must be able to challenge manufacturers of dangerous drugs in court (Wyeth v. Levine Supreme Court case)