Monday, October 29, 2018
I'm a bit late covering this; it happened while I was away. The Arkansas Supreme Court, for procedural reasons, threw tort reform (Issue 1) off of the November ballot. The opinion is here. Proponents could certainly try again (they have in the past). But, to me, the bigger issue is the emergence of a traditionally conservative advocacy group (family-oriented Christians) opposing reform instead of supporting it or remaining neutral. If this portends a national movement, the politics (and success) of tort reform may change dramatically. As I understand it, Issue 1 was not doing well. The only poll I saw had it losing about 2-1. As proof of the unusual combination of interests, here is a link to an opinion piece written by (in their description) a liberal law professor and a conservative public interest advocate. Joshua Silverstein and Jerry Cox cover some of the empirical data on tort reform and argue this ballot measure would have hurt Arkansas.