Tort reform bill takes fire from right

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NCSL says restrictions on malpractice suits should be left to the states. The House bill would set a limit of $250,000 on noneconomic damages and preempt state laws that have established higher caps. Some state constitutions also block the type of changes the bill would make. They would also be overridden.

“State court is an area for state law, not federal law,” Frederick said.

The American Association for Justice, which represents trial lawyers, also highlighted Barnett’s criticism. He took on the malpractice proposal during a weekend op-ed and a subsequent post on the legal blog Volokh Conspiracy, to which he is a regular contributor.

The bill violates House Republicans’ pledge to cite specific constitutional authority for all legislation, he wrote.

“In considering a tort reform bill, the Republicans in the House of Representatives are about to violate one of the first promises they made upon taking control,” Barnett wrote.