As a conservative, pro-business nonprofit, Conduit for Action (CFA) is in favor of tort reform. However, CFA officially opposes the proposed constitutional amendment known as Issue 1 that will be on the Arkansas ballot this November. CFA advocates for the benefits of limited government, individual liberty, and economic freedom with an emphasis on small business but believes Issue 1 is in direct contradiction to these principles.
While frivolous lawsuits hurt small business, Issue 1 does nothing to address frivolous lawsuits. CFA supports loser pay tort reform but opposes Issue 1 as there is no loser pay tort reform language included. To argue “they” will add it later is a trojan horse argument.
What Issue 1 does include are special liability protections for nursing homes, hospitals, and other big corporations and other special interests. Issue 1 allows politicians to put a cap on the value of a human life if someone is injured or killed due to the negligence of another. Issue 1 limits the costs of being negligent at the expense of the innocent.
Issue 1 is anti-free market. It puts the government in charge of setting the price that attorneys and clients can agree are reasonable fees for the attorneys’ work. Issue 1 limits the ability of both clients and attorneys to have freedom to contract. Ultimately this will limit the ability for injured people to find an attorney to take their case against these special interest groups (which is the goal of the supporters of the ballot issue.)
Issue 1 undermines the balance of powers of three, co-equal branches of government. It would allow the legislature to take over the rulemaking authority of the judicial branch. Legislators would be allowed to write the rules of evidence and procedure for courts. This is a terrible idea that would see the courts be corrupted with lobbyists and special interests telling the legislators what rules to write for the courtroom (even rules intended to benefit cases that may be then pending against lobbyists’ clients.)
Issue 1 does nothing to help small business or provide economic growth in Arkansas. It is simply writing special protections for special interests into the Arkansas constitution.
Conduit for Action is proud to join with other conservatives like Jerry Cox and Family Council Action Committee and pro-life leaders like Rose Mimms in opposing this measure. Issue 1 does not help Arkansans and will not help the Arkansas economy nor “create” jobs.