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| August 21, 2008

The Value of Information

Reading Wendy’s rather gloomy assessment of the abuse of science in regulatory decisionmaking – which is to say, in political decisions – and Rena’s more upbeat reply, I find myself asking why we are so tied to science in the first place. If the science is so subject to bias and abuse, why are we relying […]

Rena Steinzor | August 19, 2008

Rays of Sunshine

  I think Wendy paints far too black a picture of the current state of affairs, and that rays of sunshine are beginning to poke through this particularly cloudy sky. I rest my case for more optimism on the increasingly aggressive role that scientific advisory boards are playing when political appointees at the Environmental Protection Agency […]

Wendy Wagner | August 18, 2008

What Can Really be Done about the Perversion of Science by Politics

One can quickly become depressed by the problems afflicting the science used for regulation of public health and the environment, and CPR bears a substantial share of responsibility for painting a grim picture of a world where politics prevails over science. In a Cambridge-published book, Rescuing Science from Politics, and an accompanying white paper that summarizes […]

William Funk | August 7, 2008

Preemption: The Courts, the Executive, and Congress

There are three relevant actors in the preemption play: the courts, the executive, and the Congress. For various reasons, the mood of the Supreme Court at the present time is to limit tort actions generally. “Tort reform,” generally unsuccessful in state legislatures and Congress, is being implemented by the Supreme Court unilaterally. Daubert requirements for […]

Nina Mendelson | July 31, 2008

The Omniscient Agency Myth

There are two issues kicking around in this discussion: (1) Should state tort law be preempted if there is some sort of federal regulation in place?   (2) Which institutions – particularly federal agencies and courts – are legally empowered and/or competent to decide that question? I’d like to chime in on (1), but I hope we’ll […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | July 30, 2008

Why Do the Courts Not Respect Congressional Intent?

I’m glad that we have an opportunity to blog about preemption because, as the previous blogs discussed, the folks pushing preemption are so good at creating myths around this subject. One—elaborated on by Tom McGarity—is that the jury system is not to be trusted. Another—discussed by David Vladeck—is that it is up to the courts to decide whether […]

David Vladeck | July 29, 2008

More than Just Tort Myths; It is Immunity and Constitutional Myths

Tom’s point about the use of myths to drive the tort reform agenda is a powerful one.  But this battle is about more than myths about torts; it is also a battle about myths about constitutional law.       Tort Myths   In most of the tort suits that trigger preemption defenses, there is no […]

Thomas McGarity | July 28, 2008

The Golden Arches Coffee Myth

You are right, Sid, that we hear lots of horror stories about so-called “frivolous litigation” and “runaway juries” from those who want to take away the right of ordinary citizens to hold big companies accountable for the damage caused by negligence and defective products. The stories are very effective in giving the public the impression that […]

Sidney A. Shapiro | July 27, 2008

Getting Started

CPR has published two white papers on “preemption”—a doctrine used by the courts to determine whether federal regulation of some type of corporate behavior bars a state from subjecting the corporation to its own laws. The first, The Truth About Torts: Using Agency Preemption to Undercut Consumer Health and Safety, came out in September, 2007, and […]