In April, Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) introduced H.R. 1927, the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2015, co-sponsored by Trent Franks (R-AZ). Both Goodlatte and Franks are recipients of corporate largesse through board members’ and shareholders’ contributions and PACs.
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In recent years, corporate lawmakers have successfully managed to narrow standing in class action suits and are now trying to eliminate them all together with H.R. 1927, which has nothing to do with fairness at all. The bill would put justice from corporate wrongdoing and law breaking out of reach of We the People.
It would eliminate any class action that does not involve quantifiable property loss or personal injury. According to a Huffington Post article, the bill would strip “away consumer protections on everything from deceptive advertising to privacy invasions. It could roll back wage-theft protections for workers, antitrust protections for small businesses and securities-fraud protections for investors.” Brown vs, the Board of Education would never have seen the light of day.
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Further the class itself must have exactly the same loss or injury. Let’s say an explosion occurs because of corporate negligence. If a person becomes paralyzed and the person next to him suffers internal injuries in the same incident, they cannot join the same class action.
There’s only one alternative to this kind of brazen legislation: Build a movement, and go about the work of amending the Constitution to say that corporations do not have Constitutional rights and money is not protected political speech.
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