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Best v. Taylor Machine Works

Today is the tenth anniversary of Best v. Taylor Machine Works, where the Illinois Supreme Court undid legislative tort reform on the grounds that only the state courts could legislate in this area, with the chutzpah to claim that the legislature was violating the separation of powers. (It also struck the statute under a disingenuous application of rational-basis review.) This illegal judicial aggrandizement (still on the books) has a lot to do with why there were so many judicial hellholes in the state: the legislature is nearly powerless to constrain them. As Ed Whelan notes, the dissent correctly said:

�Today�s decision represents a substantial departure from our precedent on the respective roles of the legislative and judicial branches in shaping the law of this state. Stripped to its essence, the majority�s mode of analysis simply constitutes an attempt to overrule, by judicial fiat, the considered judgment of the legislature.�

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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.