Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Trashing the Alabama Supreme Court

Kudos to the Alabama Democratic Party for standing up and pointing out just how badly the Alabama Supreme Court screwed citizens by tossing out $3.5 billion worth of punitive damages in the ExxonMobil case.

Party chairman Joe Turnham said Republicans on the Supreme Court were "accomplices" for the fraud "(ExxonMobil) perpetrated against Alabama taxpayers,"

Mike Hubbard, state Republican Party chair, fired back, saying Democrats wanted to return the high court to the days when plaintiff lawyers and "jackpot justice" ruled. As usual, Hubbard is full of it. The punitive damages were three times compensatory damages in the case, in accordance with state caps put in place largely by pro-business interests. This was hardly a case of "jackpot justice," and Hubbard either is ignorant or intentionally trying to mislead the public.

Kudos also to Glynn Wilson, of Locust Fork News, for an excellent piece on the ExxonMobil rulings. Wilson's piece includes a link to an AP interview with the jury foreman in the Exxon case. Elementary-school teacher Joe King said he was "completely shocked" by the Supreme Court ruling. "From the moment we walked into the jury room, we were ready to vote, and everybody voted against Exxon," King said. "The only thing we had to consider was the amount."

King also noted the deafening silence from the office of Republican Governor Bob Riley. "I've been listening every day for his reaction and haven't heard anything."

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