Tuesday, August 03, 2004


"Some 'taxes' are invisible, hidden in the higher prices of things we buy. One such 'tax' is huge, costing the average American family of four at least $2,884 every year .... Call it the 'Lawsuit Tax,' the huge cost that lawsuits and the threat of lawsuits adds to everything. One member of Congress has done more to increase this secret tax on Americans than has any other lawmaker. John Edwards is a Democratic U.S. Senator from North Carolina, elected to his first and only term in 1998 with massive financial backing from his fellow trial lawyers."

Lawsuit Abuse Fortnightly: In this issue: "Jury Ignores Science Panel In Maine Trial;" "Disability Laws Fleece Mom & Pop Shops;" "California Cap Law Lowers Malpractice Awards;" "Lawyer Forced to Apologize for Frivolous Suit;" "Trial Lawyers Triumphant--For Now;" "Senate Sends Tort Reform Down the Tubes;" "Now Here?s a Law that Needs Changing!;" and, "Your Cheating Heart Turns Into Gold"

Some courts do respect the law: "San Francisco's 20-year-old program to promote women and minorities in city contracts suffered a potentially fatal blow Tuesday when a judge ruled that it violated Proposition 209, the voter-approved state initiative banning preferential treatment based on race and sex. Judge James Warren of San Francisco Superior Court said the city's contracting law giving bidding advantages and preferences to women and minorities is similar to a San Jose ordinance that the California Supreme Court struck down in 2000 because it violated Prop. 209. Based on that ruling, Warren barred San Francisco from enforcing the law 'or any other public contracting law that discriminates against or grants preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.' City officials said they will appeal."

Buchanan knows the constitution: "[The Marriage Protection Act] will be a critical test of the GOP majority in the Senate. If it stands with the House and President Bush, the first and second branches of the U.S. government will be telling the third, the U.S. Supreme Court: Your right of review of all U.S. law is not absolute, but subject to our restrictions. You are hereby instructed to return to the stall into which the Founding Fathers placed you."

The law is not your friend: Harris County, Texas, Resident Blair Davis found himself staring down the barrel of a pistol after his door flew open and 10 members of the Harris County Organized Crime and Narcotics Task force came tearing in, guns drawn, and yelling at him to get down, which he did, for about an hour, as the police searched his home for drugs after mistaking the common Texas Star hibiscus plant on his front lawn for a marijuana plant. Yes, the Harris County Narcotics officers do not know the difference between a marijuana plant and the common native growing Texas Star hibiscus plant. At one point, Davis said, the officers were discussing amongst themselves whether the red and gold bamboo plant in his window might be marijuana. They also asked Davis what he did with the watermelons and cantaloupes growing in his back yard. They eventually left . without apologizing.

Your police "service" "A government scientist finishing a candy bar on her way into a subway station where eating is prohibited was arrested, handcuffed and detained for three hours by transit police. Stephanie Willett said she was eating a PayDay candy bar on an escalator descending into a station July 16 when an officer warned her to finish it before entering the station. Both Willett and police agree that she nodded and put the last bit into her mouth before throwing the wrapper into a trash can. Willett, a 45-year-old Environmental Protection Agency scientist, told radio station WTOP that the officer then followed her into the station, one of several in downtown Washington. 'Don't you have some other crimes you have to take care of?' Willett said she told the officer. Washington has been under heightened security because of the continuing threat of terrorism. And last week, police declared a citywide crime emergency over rising juvenile crime."


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