As the time of the Bush administration draws to a close, the American Association for Justice (AAJ) wants to make sure that we are all aware of the deliberate, systematic, and systemic damage this administration has done to consumer rights and protections through its unprecedented efforts to inject complete immunity preemption clauses into as many regulatory laws of as many federal agencies as possible.
The AAJ recently released a report documenting the erosion to states’ rights over the past eight years. “Since taking office in 2001,” it says, “the Bush administration has made implementing a ‘get out of jail free’ card for corporations one of its top priorities.”
The administration instructed agencies to insert complete immunity preemption language in the preambles of rules, stating that products that meet federal agency regulations are not subject to state law. This language would effectively block all product liability lawsuits from being adjudicated and would let corporations “get out of jail free” even when their products seriously injure or even kill Americans. –Get Out of Jail Free: How the Bush Administration Helps Corporations Escape Accountability.
The problem began, AAJ asserts, when Bush began staffing regulatory agencies Trojan-horse style with political appointees who had just come from successful careers in the very agencies they were now charged with regulating. As a good and aptly-named example, Daniel Troy, a pharmaceutical defense attorney in the private sector, was appointed chief counsel of the FDA.
The resulting encroachment of complete immunity preemption into every corner of regulatory legislation amounts to a federal takeover of states’ rights that is a danger to the American public, in as much as it preempts (i.e. destroys) Americans’ rights to defend themselves against companies who profit from the sale of harmful and even deadly products.
Read the rest of this series to take a look at the over 40 preemptive rules that the Bush administration has slipped into the system over the last eight years. By all indications, they’ll not be easily or quickly undone by our next president.