Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Big Biz Trumps States' Rights

My Way News:
The case required the court to consider a 1995 federal law, passed over a presidential veto after Republicans took control of Congress, and a follow-up law approved three years later intended to restrict investor class-action lawsuits.

The Merrill Lynch brokers filed a class-action suit under state law in Oklahoma, but the justices said in Tuesday's decision that Congress intended to prevent their claims and others like them.

'Public companies no longer have to fear the threat of securities class-actions in 50 different states under potentially 50 different sets of laws,' said Jay Kasner, a New York attorney who represented Merrill Lynch.

William Federman, the Oklahoma City attorney for the brokers, said Congress had already barred federal court lawsuits claiming that someone was duped into holding onto stocks. Now they can no longer be filed in state courts.

'It sends a signal to investors this court is seeking to continue what Congress started, to protect big business,' Federman said.

Nineteen states, led by New York, backed the brokers and urged the justices not to 'strip states of essential authority to protect their citizens from fraud in securities transactions.' The others were California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Carolina, Vermont, Washington and Wisconsin.
I thought Conservatives were all about states' rights. Oh, I guess that's only when it concerns a woman's uterus or an individual's sexuality. My mistake.

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