Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Forgive the overly sentimental, off-topic diversion, but I couldn’t let this night go by without commenting on how proud this evening’s events have made me to be an American and renewed my faith in our political system and our people.

Both candidates showed the characteristics that we should always be lucky to see in our choices for President.  Only time will tell if Obama will be a great President, but at least we have selected a leader who has the intelligence, eloquence, self-awareness, and temperament befitting a world leader.  At the same time, his opponent accepted defeat graciously, with the leadership and class of a true American role model and hero.  To see the genuine outpouring of emotion and elation from the tens of thousands who celebrated the outcome in Chicago, not just out of pride that their candidate had won, but because they knew that they were participating in something truly historic and transcendent, put a lump in my throat.

I believe that expressions of patriotism only have meaning if they are reserved for those moments that truly embody the positive spirit of a nation’s identity.  This is one of those moments.  God Bless America.

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This evening, I came across an excellent blog article by David J. Sales, a trial lawyer with the Florida personal injury firm, Searcy Denney.  His article discusses Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama’s vote in favor of the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 and the significance of that vote in demonstrating an independent streak, allowing him to counter John McCain’s claim to being the “maverick” candidate willing to break with his party.

Sales makes two insightful observations about CAFA that refute popular myths about the statute.  First, he points out that by passing a statute that shifts jurisdiction over many class action lawsuits from state courts to the federal courts, Congress created a “decidedly anti-federalist” measure, a point that calls into question any perception of the law as a triumph in conservative lawmaking.  Second, he notes that the effects of CAFA have not been been measurably harmful to consumers as many Democrats and trial lawyers warned, a point that discredits any argument that support for CAFA could only have been justified by a pro-big business, anti-consumer agenda.

CAFA has not brought about an end to class actions, as some conservatives hoped and as some liberals had feared.  Maybe for some the law didn’t go far enough in preventing class action abuse, and maybe for others it went too far in restricting access to justice.  But it did add some reasonable procedures that may at least in some cases improve the quality of decision making and prevent abuse in class actions.  Isn’t that exactly the kind of compromise that the vast majority of us who find ourselves closer to the middle of the American political spectrum would like to see happen more often?

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