Image is Everything

While the President blames trial lawyers for just about everything from terrorism to poverty to high health care costs to the heartbreak of psoriasis, because, for no other reason, the American Trial Lawyers’ Association is the second most loyal donors to the Democratic Party coffers (behind the schoolteachers of the National Education Association), statistics come out showing that, in fact, tort trials are down over 80% in the nation’s federal courts.
While there are a lot of explanations for this, such as the Supreme Court’s ruling in Daubert v. Merrill Dow Pharmaceuticals (Daubert is designed to permit a federal judge to preclude “junk science” from making its way to a jury’s consideration; confession: your talking dog has used Daubert in the course of his own practice on occasion, when advantageous, as would any lawyer…), and other Supreme Court decisions are just making it harder to sue and win in federal court. The actual reason is simply that the nation is getting more conservative as a general matter, and this is reflected in its laws, and ultimiately, in its jury verdicts.
While the President keeps signing law after law designed to make it harder for litigants to seek redress in the federal courts, he does this as such cases are declining precipitously anyway
The motivations of the President are clear: 1%, is, of course, to help his big business clientele avoid responsibility for its actions. The other 99% is devoted to denying one of the Democratic Party’s biggest contributors from a source of revenue.
The irony, of course, is that the federal courts are proving to be a more and more irrelevant part of the game. But then… why should we attribute competence to the President in this area, as opposed to any other?