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Lawyers, guns and money in Alabama governor's race

Finally, blog content that really justifies a reference to that hoary Warren Zevon song.

The Tuskegee News has an excellent two-part interview with Rep. Artur Davis (D-AL) on his campaign for governor in 2010. When asked an open-ended question, "What will be your campaign focus?" Davis describes himself as a moderate to conservative Democrat, and the first evidence he cites is his vote on liability limits for gun manufacturers.

When I came in office in 2003, one of the the first votes I cast right off the bat was a vote that trial lawyers weren't very happy about, the Gun Manufacturers Liability Act. At the time there was a question as to whether or not you could sue a gun company if one of its guns was used to commit an offense, a mass shooting or something of that nature.

There were some people who were arguing that there is something inherently dangerous about semi-automatics and some kinds of guns that ought to expose the manufacturer to suit and liability. That would run major parts of the gun industry out of business potentially if a judgment were handed down. I voted for the Gun Manufacturers Liability Act. I voted to shield gun manufacturers from being sued for the use of their weapons because I believe ultimately individuals with guns commit crimes. Guns don't commit crimes. Individuals with guns commit crimes. That was a vote I cast in 2003.

Has Rep. Davis, a graduate of Harvard Law, made it up to the unhappy trial lawyers, yet? His campaign chairman is famed attorney Jere Beasley, and Davis is the chief sponsor of H.R. 2519, to allow a tax deduction for expenses and court costs advanced in a contingency fee case -- one of the American Association for Justice's highest lobbying priorities.

P.S. (3:15 p.m.): Should have commented that Rep. Davis' vote on manufacturer liability was a commendable vote.

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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.