What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : HR 2341. Class Action Lawsuits/Vote to Recommit to Committee a Bill Designed to Curb Class Action Lawsuits (and Opportunities for Justice) by Assigning Original Jurisdiction to Overworked Federal Courts Rather Than State Courts in Those Cases. (2002 house Roll Call 61)
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HR 2341. Class Action Lawsuits/Vote to Recommit to Committee a Bill Designed to Curb Class Action Lawsuits (and Opportunities for Justice) by Assigning Original Jurisdiction to Overworked Federal Courts Rather Than State Courts in Those Cases.
house Roll Call 61     Mar 13, 2002
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

Republicans had long felt that there were too many class-action lawsuits against corporations. Progressives favored these lawsuits because they were often the only way to hold a corporation accountable for its actions, but Republicans not only opposed many of these lawsuits on principle, they also felt it was too easy to bring them in state court where the odds of a decision favoring the plaintiff were higher. As such, the Republican House leadership drafted a bill to require that more of these suits be brought in federal court. Sandlin (D-TX) moved to recommit (send back) this bill to the committee that drafted it with instructions that it forbid defendants who had knowingly committed a terrorist act from moving a class action suit to federal court. Most motions to recommit include the word "forthwith," which in practice means the bill is simply amended and then returned for immediate reconsideration without returning to the committee at all. Sandlin's motion did not include this word, so it involved sending the bill back to the actual committee for reconsideration, which would require starting the debate on the bill over again on a different day. Progressives supported terrorist provisions of this motion to recommit, but they were even more in favor of stalling forward progress on the bill itself, so they voted in favor. However, the motion failed 191- 235.

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