The Federalist Society invited contenders of both parties to explain their views, and the Wall Street Journal prints the results of those who've responded so far -- McCain, Romney, Paul and Huckabee -- here. More: Althouse.
Judy Cates, known to readers of this site for her role in the controversial Publishers Clearing House class action settlement and thereafter for suing a columnist who wrote critically about the pact, yesterday narrowly lost (in the Democratic primary) her bid for a judgeship in southern Illinois. Cates is a former head of the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association. (Ann Knef, "Wexstten defeats Cates", Madison County Record, Feb. 5; earlier). Bill McClellan, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist sued by Cates and her brother Steven Katz, has written another amusing column on the topic ("For potential Judge Judy, millions have been served", Feb. 1)(cross-posted from Overlawyered).
An editorial says Marie Gryphon's post "brilliantly summarized the nightmare" of a John Edwards attorney-generalship.
In his last State of the Union speech tonight, President Bush said that "Congress must ... confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits" in order to make health care affordable. He didn't offer any details, but it was good to have the issue raised.
Robert Novak broke the story on Friday and Tucker Carlson is following up right now on MSNBC. Sources close to the Obama campaign claim that Senator Obama plans to offer former trial lawyer John Edwards the post of Attorney General in a future Obama administration.
It is difficult to overstate how much harm the suit-happy Edwards could inflict on the nation in a position that would allow him to initiate, for example, antitrust proceedings against oil companies. Being a plaintiffs' lawyer is about doing whatever you can to win cases. An attorney general should have a less, er, entrepreneurial approach. Legal reformers should shudder.
Lawrence Lindsey asks in the Washington Post: now that Bill Clinton has spoken of the voter intimidation by unions he saw at the Nevada caucus, perhaps Hillary Clinton should rethink her opposition to secret-ballot unionization votes? Earlier on Point of Law: other card-check posts.
It's not just Mississippi where you can find these sorts of entanglements: The Missouri Supreme Court has reprimanded four local lawyers for lending money to former Kansas City municipal judge Deborah Neal, who needed it for her gambling problem. The lawyers often practiced before Judge Neal, though no quid pro quo is alleged. Judge Neal was eventually convicted of mail fraud over gambling-related transactions. (MissouriNet via Chamber's Legal NewsLine).
Our newest featured column is Jim Copland's on the stakes in the recent elections in the Magnolia State. For how those elections turned out, see our Nov. 7 post.
Their voices can be influential in the debate, notes Ed Murnane in a report from Illinois.
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]