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"America has two great dominant strands of political thought - conservatism, which, at its very best, draws lines that should not be crossed; and progressivism, which, at its very best, breaks down barriers that should never have been erected." -- Bill Clinton, Dedication of the Clinton Presidential Library, November 2004

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Friday, December 26, 2003


Dean on tort reform

posted by Aziz P. at Friday, December 26, 2003 permalink View blog reactions
interesting but unverified letter to the NYT editor from Howard Dean in 1988, on the topic of tort reform:

To the Editor:

Randall Bezanson and Gilbert Cranberg detailed a situation that I hope will get far worse. As a physician, I have been frustrated for years by the reluctance of state legislatures and the United States Congress to deal with liability problems of all kinds.

I have long maintained that until the legal profession and the news media are also afflicted with the increasingly severe consequences of a tort system that benefits few people outside the legal profession, there will be no return to a fair and reasonable system of justice.

The trends toward lawyers suing one another for malpractice and toward outrageous-size punitive damages in libel cases give me hope that the crisis in our tort system may finally come to the attention of those who can make this a public issue and improve the situation for all of us who require liability insurance to do business.

Montpelier, Vt., June 17, 1988

Despite conservative claims to the contrary, I don't think tort reform is as neccessary an issue today as it was in the 1980's - in fact, given the increased rise of severe corporate scandal, I would say that we need less tort reform as a bulwark. There isn't much specific info on the issue at the campaign issues page.

It's a topic worthy of discussion, especially in the context of corporate abuse. Dwight Meredith had a number of excellent posts on the issue of tort reform at his now-defunct blog, PLA. What do you think?


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About Nation-Building

Nation-Building was founded by Aziz Poonawalla in August 2002 under the name Dean Nation. Dean Nation was the very first weblog devoted to a presidential candidate, Howard Dean, and became the vanguard of the Dean netroot phenomenon, raising over $40,000 for the Dean campaign, pioneering the use of Meetup, and enjoying the attention of the campaign itself, with Joe Trippi a regular reader (and sometime commentor). Howard Dean himself even left a comment once. Dean Nation was a group weblog effort and counts among its alumni many of the progressive blogsphere's leading talent including Jerome Armstrong, Matthew Yglesias, and Ezra Klein. After the election in 2004, the blog refocused onto the theme of "purple politics", formally changing its name to Nation-Building in June 2006. The primary focus of the blog is on articulating purple-state policy at home and pragmatic liberal interventionism abroad.