Tea Party Patriots Leader Says Uncle Sam Shouldn't Run States' Legal Systems

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"Roll Call," the newspaper that covers Capitol Hill, interviewed me and published an article about my work in support of the Constitutional rights of Americans. It includes a great quote by Mark Meckler, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots. You can download an Acrobat file of the article here, and an excerpt follows:

Andy Cochran is a tea party-supporting, religious, anti-abortion, trial-lawyer-loving conservative Republican. Seriously. 'Trial-lawyer-loving' was no typo.

The Reagan-administration-appointee-turned-lobbyist has a long list of conservative credentials. Armed with writings from the Founding Fathers and a fervor for the Constitution, Cochran is reaching out to Hill Republicans, conservative scholars and tea party activists to try to persuade them to oppose tort reform efforts making their way through Congress.

He'll reference the Magna Carta and even the Bible when arguing for the right to sue and receive damages. 'Moses said, if you take your neighbor's property, you owe, essentially, punitive damages,' Cochran said. He started 7thamendmentadvocate.org, devoted to the Seventh Amendment, which defined the right to a jury trial for civil matters.

On issues such as the lawsuit abuse and medical liability reform bills, Cochran has tapped his Rolodex of socially conservative groups that frequently push their causes through the court system. He wants to enlist them in the fight to preserve the Seventh Amendment on the grounds that the federal government could one day infringe on their ability to sue....

Mark Meckler, co-founder and national coordinator of the Tea Party Patriots, said the tort reform issue is not 'really on the radar right now.' However, Meckler, an attorney who says he does not know Cochran and does not interact much with lobbyists, speculated that his group's membership might be sympathetic to Cochran's pitch.

'Most folks in the tea party movement would say those things should be dealt with at the state level,' Meckler said. 'It's not for the federal government to be adjusting the legal system of individual states.' (Emphasis mine.)

That works for me! Let's hope Washington is listening. Thanks to Mark Meckler for his comments and to Kate Ackley, the Roll Call reporter who conducted a fair and balanced interview.

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This page contains a single entry by Andrew Cochran published on May 4, 2011 4:09 PM.

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