Friday, February 22, 2008

Texans, please, just draw the curtains!

In the tort reform debate, we hear a lot of rhetoric about unmeritorious and unnecessary litigation clogging up the courts. I wish we could discuss the real problem, in my opinion: governments who feel the need to hash out the same issue repeatedly.

Back in 2003, in the case of Lawrence v. Texas, the United States Supreme Court struck down a Texas law against consensual gay sex as being unconstitutional. Texans, never a group to back down from a fight, then passed a law banning the sale sex toys (even for the heterosexually married). This law was also appealed. In the case of Reliable Consultants Inc. v. Earle, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals relied on the Lawrence decision in their ruling:

"Just as in Lawrence, the state here wants to use its law to enforce a public moral code by restricting private intimate conduct," the 5th Circuit majority wrote. "This case is not about public sex. It is not about controlling commerce in sex. It is about controlling what people do in the privacy of their own homes because the state is morally opposed to a certain type of consensual private intimate conduct."

My point here is that the State of Texas in both cases felt the need to appeal these decisions to the higher courts. Legislators pass these laws because they are popular, even though they must know the laws are constitutionally unsound. If the legislators who sponsor these bills were personally liable for the court costs and expenses associated with the appeals, I believe they would consider more than their re-election when creating legislation. Just as we punish attorneys who pursue frivolous lawsuits or claims, perhaps we should consider a corresponding penalty for legislators passing frivolous laws. Now, that is a litigation-reform law I could get behind.


yankeegirl said...

Just found your blog- I'm a paralegal and just got my LSAT score (155). I was looking for info about single parents going to law school and found your blog!
Any advice or insights you have would be welcomed! :)

Roxanne said...

Hi Yankeegirl,

Thanks for your comment on my blog. I’d be happy to talk to you about surviving law school as a single mother.

I, of course, only have one kid and you have three, so my advice may have more limited value. However, one of my classmates is a single mother of seven (!) so I’ll pass on the advice she’s given me as well.

Do you have specific questions about it all? Otherwise, I'll just post my standard advice spiel that I give to visitors to our school. :)

Congrats on your LSAT score. Where do you want to go to school?