This point has been mentioned before, but not very prominently, in the discussions leading up to today's US Supreme Court review of the Wyeth v. Levine preemption case. AsThe Legal Times notes, a Democrat in the White House and a Democratic Congress could erase any preemption protection companies have won in the last eight years. Bills are already before Congress to do just that.
"If the Supreme Court gives Wyeth a big win, the trial lawyers have a big war chest and they can go to Congress and get rid of this preemption language," Victor Schwartz, a Shook Hardy & Bacon partner and longtime tort reform strategist, tells the paper. "If Obama comes in, it will be history."
You can tell such a movement is coalescing. Last week, the American Association for Justice, the trial lawyers' group, issued a report called 'Get Out Of Jail Free: How the Bush Administration Helps Corporations Escape Accountability,' and referred to a 'stealth campaign to preempt states' rights.'
Also last week, the House Committee on Oversight and Government reform released a report indicating key FDA career officials strongly objected to Bush Administration drug labeling regulations that would preempt state liability lawsuits. The staffers viewed justifications for the regs as 'false and misleading’ and warned changes would deprive consumers of timely info about drug safety, the report concluded.