First, the good news for tort reform from Election 2006: Republicans picked up enough seats to evenly split the Oklahoma state senate, raising hopes for long-stalled reform legislation in that state. Republican candidates who favor liability limits won both Ohio Supreme Court seats up for election, ensuring a 5?? 1/2 2 majority for those defending a broad new tort reform law. And in the Florida attorney general's race, Republican tort reform proponent Bill McCollum defeated trial attorney Skip Campbell.
But such scattered, small victories give only faint comfort to those seeking curbs on abusive litigation. Overall, the election was a tort reform disaster. Both houses of Congress went to the Democrats, Republicans lost control of one or both houses of eight state legislatures and Democrats will be evicting Republicans from six governors' mansions.
"Those are issues that are easy to get the labor unions excited about," he says.