2016 Republican Presidential Candidates


Tort Legal Reform


  1. Mischief; injury; calamity.
  2. Any civil wrong or injury; a wrongful act (not involving a breach of contract) for which an action will lie; a form of action, in some parts of the United States, for a wrong or injury.
  1. To put into a new and improved form or condition; to restore to a former good state, or bring from bad to good; to change from worse to better; to amend; to correct.
  2. To return to a good state; to amend or correct one's own character or habits.
  3. Amendment of what is defective, vicious, corrupt, or depraved; reformation.

Constitutional Quotes

  •  Amendment V - No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
  •  Amendment VII - In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
  •  Amendment VIII - Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

2004 Republican Platform Quotes

  •  Ushering in an Ownership Era
    •  Small Business
      •  Though more work remains to be done, including reauthorizing the Small Business Administration, President Bush and Congressional Republicans have made good on each of those commitments. They have:
        • Enacted common sense liability protections in the Terrorism Risk Insurance and SAFETY Acts.
      •  An area in special need of more work is liability reform. Frivolous lawsuits put more money in the pockets of trial lawyers and leave businesses with less money to create jobs. They raise health care costs on small businesses, often preventing them from offering health insurance to their employees. We support efforts by President Bush, Congressional Republicans, and Republican governors to curb the burden of frivolous lawsuits.
  •  Building an Innovative, Globally Competitive Economy
    •  Reforming the Litigation System
      •  America's litigation system is broken. Junk and frivolous lawsuits are driving up the cost of doing business in America by forcing companies to pay excessive legal expenses to fight off or settle often baseless lawsuits. Those costs are being paid by small business owners, manufacturers, their employees, and consumers. A typical small business with $10 million in annual revenue pays about $150,000 a year in tort liability costs. That is money that could be used to invest and hire new employees. Inefficiency and waste in the legal system is costing the average American family of four $1,800 every year, equivalent to an extra 3 percent tax on wages. And the bulk of jury awards to plaintiffs don't even go to the people who deserve it. Injured persons on average collect less than 50 cents of every dollar that the legal system costs. Trial lawyers get rich from the misfortune of others. If small business is America's economic engine, trial lawyers are the brakes: They cost hundreds of thousands of good jobs, drive honest employers out of business, deprive women of critical medical care - then skip out with fat wallets and nary a thought for the economic havoc and human misery they leave in their wake. We praise President Bush and Republicans in Congress for their efforts to reform the legal system by passing meaningful class action reform, asbestos reform, and medical liability reform. And we call to account Senate Democrats and the powerful trial lawyer lobby, who have shown no shame in utilizing obstructionist tactics to thwart the efforts of majorities in Congress to provide meaningful relief to all Americans. The Republican Party reaffirms its support for meaningful reform of the legal system, and will continue its fight to guarantee the rights of all plaintiffs to swift and speedy justice.
    •  Supporting Teachers
      •  Every teacher and every student deserves a safe classroom in which to work and learn. The No Child Left Behind Act ensures that teachers and other school professionals can undertake reasonable actions to maintain order and discipline in the classroom without the fear of litigation. The law provides civil immunity in any state court and limits the financial liability of teachers, instructors, principals, administrators, and other education professionals for actions taken to maintain discipline, order, or control in the school or classroom.
    •  Medical Liability Reform
      •  The medical liability system is harming our medical delivery system.
      •  Junk lawsuits add at least $60 billion to health care costs in America because doctors are forced to practice defensive medicine, ordering extensive, unnecessary, and expensive tests and procedures to keep trial lawyers at bay.
      •  The President has proposed, and the Republican House of Representatives has passed, reforms that would speed compensation to injured patients, reduce health care costs, and improve Americans' access to quality health care. Shamefully driven by the powerful trial lawyer lobby, Democrat Senators have repeatedly thwarted the efforts of the Republican majority to deliver meaningful medical liability reform. They have employed their obstructionist tactics three times in the current Congress alone. The Republican Party reaffirms its commitment to putting patients and doctors ahead of trial lawyers. We will continue to battle for litigation reforms that help keep doctors in practice, adopt reasonable caps on non-economic awards in medical malpractice suits, and ensure that Americans have access to quality affordable health care.
    •  Health Information Technology
      •  Republicans support President Bush's goal of ensuring that most Americans have electronic health records within the next 10 years. He has requested funding for demonstration projects for broader adoption of health IT systems in communities and states.
      •  Already, the use of health IT in the Veterans Administration has shown improvements in the quality of care and reductions in the cost. The Administration is working with private sector innovators to develop reliable, secure methods of storing personal medical information that will broaden the benefits of health IT. Privacy is paramount, and participation by patients will be voluntary. These electronic health records will be designed to share information among and between health care providers only when authorized by a patient.
      •  Advances at the nexus of science and technology raise serious moral and legal questions. For example, although medical conditions have been linked to certain genetic markers, there is no certainty that many of these diseases will actually develop. There is growing concern that employers and insurance companies will use genetic information to discriminate by denying jobs or insurance coverage to individuals who have predictive genetic markers for certain diseases. We support efforts to enact genetic discrimination legislation that is fair, reasonable, and consistent with existing laws to prevent discrimination.
      •  In addition, we must take action to allow doctors and hospitals to review best practices without fear of litigation. By sharing information, health professionals can determine ways to avoid errors and complications. These efforts are blocked, however, because good-faith efforts to improve quality and safety are targets for lawsuits based on new information that is made public in the review process. We support the work of the President and Republicans in Congress on legislation to make it possible for health professionals to work together more effectively to provide the best possible care for all patients.
  •  Strengthening Our Communities
    •  Promoting Affordable, Accessible Health Care
      •  And we applaud efforts by President Bush and the Republican Congress to reform the broken medical liability system that is raising health care costs and limiting patients' access to doctors - doctors who are being driven out of their practices by excessive medical liability costs.
    •  Modernizing the Endangered Species Act
      •  Over the last 30 years, successes under ESA have been limited due to confrontation and polarization - including an ever-growing barrage of litigation preventing the Fish and Wildlife Service from protecting new species and recovering plants and animals already listed as threatened or endangered. Republicans believe we can achieve greater progress in protecting species for future generations through results-based cooperative conservation programs and voluntary agreements that encourage private stewardship. The ESA must be updated to reflect new approaches that focus resources on species in need of recovery, not lawsuits.
    •  Protecting Our Rights, Fighting Criminals, and Supporting Victims
      •  We applaud Congressional Republicans for seeking to stop frivolous lawsuits against firearms manufacturers, which is a transparent attempt to deprive citizens of their Second Amendment rights.

Republican Tort Reform Values

  •  Frivolous Lawsuits Benefit Lawyers Not Society
  •  Frivolous Lawsuits Drive Up Cost of Doing Business, Thus Consumer Prices
  •  Doctors and Hospitals Should be Allowed to Review Best Practices without Fear of Litigation
  •  Teachers Should Not Fear Lawsuits for Maintaining Classroom Discipline
  •  Firearms Manufacturers Should be Shielded from Frivolous Lawsuits
  •  Protect Environment Not Frivolous Litigation Stopping Cleanup Efforts

Administrative Policy Initiatives

Republican Sponsored Legislature

Judicial Cases

Advocacy Organizations

Links of Interest

Related Issues and Relationship

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Last modified: June 15, 2015