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Election results

Governorships: Haley Barbour (R-Miss.), nationally prominent as a backer of lawsuit reform, easily defeated trial lawyer/social conservative Democrat John Arthur Eaves.

Attorney generalships: Mississippi incumbent AG Jim Hood, who is as popular with the litigation lobby as Barbour is unpopular, crushed a Republican challenger (who, as noted earlier, is a successful plaintiff's lawyer himself). In Kentucky, Democrat Jack Conway easily defeated socially conservative Republican Stan Lee, who had tried to raise Conway's closeness to trial lawyers as a campaign issue.

Judgeships. Democrats are on the way to capturing two open seats on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, after a hard-fought struggle in which trial lawyers donated munificently and a pro-business group from out of state then responded in kind.

Other contests. By a fairly broad margin, Washington state voters gave their approval to Referendum 67, the trial-lawyer-backed measure to permit triple-damage suits by policyholders against insurance companies. As will be recalled, Dickie Scruggs engineered the defeat of longtime Mississippi insurance commissioner George Dale in the Democratic primary because Dale was insufficiently cooperative with Scruggs's wishes on Katrina policy litigation; Magnolia State voters have now proceeded to elect the GOP candidate in the race, Mike Chaney. [Revised and updated as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern]

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.