Secure Arkansas is typically on the outer fringes of groups arguing against things like immigrants and fluoride. But, hey, when they’re right, they’re right.
It’s alerted its members to a “plot” to make life easier for nursing home and other corporate interests by making it much harder to sue and claim significant damages through civil lawsuits. (AKA tort reform or, the new buzz word, “civil justice.”)
A handful of our Arkansas State Senators are plotting to provide a hefty return on investment to the nursing home industry by taking away your 7th Amendment rights to a civil jury trial. The civil jury trial is essential to our liberty, and our Founding Fathers led the charge to secure that liberty based in large part on having an independent judiciary that would protect their inalienable rights to private property, gun ownership, a fair trial, religious liberty, and free speech. They knew these things were worth dying to protect, and they did not pick and choose one right over another to defend. So, why do some legislators at the Capitol think your rights are for sale? Make no mistake, if they’ll take one from you, they’ll take them all.
The shape of the tort reform amendment isn’t wholly clear at this point. Nursing homes want damage caps. The Chamber of Commerce wants the legislature to take control of civil procedural rules. Is an end to jury trials in the works? I don’t know.
But the Secure Arkansas alert goes on to talk of the machinations I’ve mentioned in which the corporate lobby is trying to find a way around rules that will make committee approval of their plan harder. Negotiations continue on rules and the form of the potential proposed constitutional amendment.
But, you go, Secure Arkansas. The central premise that the corporate and nursing home lobby is up to something with ill consequences for injured Arkansans, is indisputably correct.