Jewish Sightseeing HomePage Jewish Sightseeing
  2005-02-10 Senate—class action
Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Jews in Senate split 6-5 on bill 
federalizing class action suits

Boxer maintains perfect record of voting in opposition
,  Feb. 10, 2005

The eleven Jewish members of the U.S. Senate split 6-5 on legislation requiring certain types of class action suits to be tried in federal court rather than state court.  Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif) maintained her record of voting in the minority on every controversial issue before the Senate thus far this session.

Voting with the majority to approve the bill—part of President George W. Bush's legislative package, which advocates said would prevent plaintiff's attorneys from "court shopping"—were Republicans Norm Coleman of Minnesota and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut and Charles Schumer of New York.

On the losing side of the battle—joining consumer groups who said federal courts tend to deal with business abuses more leniently than state courts—were  Boxer and her fellow Democrats Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, Carl Levin of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon.  Overall the Seante voted 72-26 in favor of the bill, with two senators not voting.

Under the legislation, which now goes to the House of Representatives for action, a class action suit would be tried in a state court only if the defendant and more than a third of the plaintiffs in the class were from the same state.

Boxer not only voted "no" on the legislation, but took the losing side on four amendments that were turned back by the Senate majority.   Her record of zero wins and eight losses on controversial legislation started with her lone vote against certifying Ohio's electoral vote in the presidential election, and was followed by her votes against confirming Condoleezza Rice for secretary of state and Alberto Gonzales for  attorney general.

The only time Boxer has cast a vote with the majority in a roll call vote so far this season was when the Senate voted unanimously to congratulate the people of Iraq on the conduct of the Jan. 30 elections.
Donald H. Harrison