Earlier today I wrote a blog about the hypocrisy of Senator Sykes and what transpired at the Capitol regarding lawsuit reform. I wanted to follow up and let our readers know that some good conservative leaders, pundits and tea party groups are already coming out against the shenanigans pulled at the Capitol today and selective following of the constitution by so called conservative members.
Ron Black, whom you may recall from his days at WKY in Oklahoma City, posted an Oklahomans for Liberty Message detailing the deplorable actions described above. The Oklahomans for Liberty press release states
Whatever side you are on in the whole 7th Amendment debate, Senator Sykes’ behavior today was truly disgusting…
James Dunn, Oklahoma National Committeeman for the GOP, just forwarded me an email he sent to Matt Pinnell, the Oklahoma State GOP Chair.
I have been at the capital most of yesterday working on this very issue. The Senate Judiciary passed today five bills that in essence destroy the peoples constitutional right to a jury trial. My heart is so heavy to know that leadership through Senator Sykes, the chair of the committee, would not even call me when I personally went to his office and left my phone number. I remember being significant to him when I wrote him a $1000.00 check a few months ago and personally brought him an additional $3,000.00 that I raised for him.
However, it is not the case now just like it wasn’t in committee today when he refused to allow one of his constituents to speak on these very serious issues. The committee, through a motion by Senator Crain, unanimously voted against Senator Sykes allowing the constituent to be briefly heard. It truly is a sad day for Oklahoma when the people are not given a chance to be heard by its elected officials. There is blood on the ground today of innocent victims who have been left behind by Oklahoma GOP leadership. I mourn for them and for all the future innocent victims who will suffer further because our current leadership does not care to hear the truth about the need to protect victims rights and our Constitution. It is clear that Oklahoma’s GOP leadership is more worried about politics as usual instead of truly following the constitution and our long history of upholding the rights of "we the people".
James E. Dunn
Oklahoma National Committeeman.
So let’s recap. If you’re donating money to Senator Sykes, he’ll take your call… otherwise, he avoids you like the plague. And if you are one of Senator Sykes’ constituents and you want to exercise your 1st Amendment right to petition the government to express your concerns, Senator Sykes will do everything he can to make sure you can’t be heard if it goes against what the State Chamber wants passed.
If you are a constituent of Senator Sykes, I hope you will contact him today at (405) 521-5569 and let him know that you expect your voice to be heard, even if it’s not what Senator Sykes and the State Chamber want to hear.
For everyone else, please call Senator Breechen at (405) 521-5675 and ask him to reconsider co-authoring this bill. Sen. Breechen ran on being a Tea Party conservative yet he has aligned himself against the Constitution and with the State Chamber on SB 863.
Also, since the bill passed the committee (in record time, I must say), we need you to call your State Senator and tell them to vote NO on SB 863. You can find out the name and number of your Senator by clicking here.
I hope that tea party activists and other strong conservatives will start to stand up against the State Chamber and Oklahoma Republican Establishment. The 7th Amendment Advocate has a wonderful article I would direct conservatives to for further discussion entitled “Tea Partiers & Conservatives Should Oppose Federal Law Limiting Medical Malpractice Lawsuits” In part this article details 8 reasons why tea party members and conservatives should be against tort reform. Those 8 reasons are as follows:
1. The Constitutional basis for medical malpractice tort reform is also the basis for ObamaCare, and both violate the 10th Amendment’s protections of states’ rights. When he introduced H.R. 5, Rep. Phil Gingrey cited the language of the Commerce Clause: of the Constitution. I wrote about the abuse of the Commerce Clause of the Constitution in separate posts on December 6, on December 14, and on January 4. Simply put, the pro-medmal-reform and pro-ObamaCare forces depend on the theory that the Commerce Clause trumps the protection of individual and states’ rights in the Bill of Rights. That’s a formula for a slide into dictatorship. And as I wrote on December 6, Founding Father George Mason foresaw the holes in the Constitution and argued against ratification of the Constitution without a Bill of Rights.
2. A better name for any such bill is the "Abortion Butchers & Sexual Abusers Civil Immunity Act of 2011." If enacted, doctors who kill babies and their mothers (see the Gosnell case) could leave jail after their sentence is up, then stop by the bank to pick up their blood money and start over. Why would a pro-lifer (like me) ever want to limit the amount of money an abortion victim could take from killers and butchers in a civil suit?! And it even protects doctors who commit intentional torts, such as sexual abuse! The broad scope of H.R. 5 also protects bad drug and device companies which have been criminally prosecuted.
3. The bill does nothing to stop medical malpractice, which kills up to 100,000 Americans annually and injures up to ten times that number. The bill doesn’t improve hospital hygiene, medical records technology, or any other medical practice. Medical malpractice lawsuits can’t exist if there’s little or no medical malpractice.
4. We have a medical malpractice crisis, but not a medical liability crisis. The number of medical malpractice claims has been headed down – yes, DOWN – for years, down 15 percent from 1999 to 2008. The insurance industry’s own data reveals that the amount they’ve paid out for malpractice claims dropped by over 40% between 2002 and 2008, when adjusted for inflation. H.R. 5 is like fixing a flat tire by emptying the radiator. It misses the point and attacks a non-problem.
5. This bill would increase government spending, because those unable to hold wrongdoers accountable will become dependent on Medicare and Medicaid for payment of their medical costs. The taxpayers will be forced to pay for incompetent doctors and for drugmakers’ and medical device manufacturers’ faulty products.
6. Why would the GOP immunize industry groups which endorsed ObamaCare and enabled its enactment? The AMA and Big Pharma gave us ObamaCare’s unconstitutional mandate, budget-busting spending hikes, and huge tax increases. THANKS FOR NOTHING.
7. Medical malpractice today, religious liberty and gun rights tomorrow? There is no differentiation regarding medical malpractice lawsuits under the Constitution. This would be the same as capping damages in suits against schools firing Christian professors or limiting the size of gun clips.
8. The Founding Fathers were never for tort reform. Back in September, I offered to buy the best dinner in Washington to anyone to shows me just ONE pro-tort reform quote by any Founding Father. I’ve had no takers and I’m not worried, because none of them proposed limiting our 7th Amendment rights.