June 13, 2017 (Williamsburg, VA)—The Institute for Liberty has joined a coalition of organizations voicing serious concerns with HR 1215, the “Protecting Access to Care Act”, which is an attempt by the United States Congress to “federalize” aspects of medical malpractice law. Tort law has traditionally been the purview of the states, and the Institute for Liberty believes that principles of federalism are being seriously undermined by this bill.
The letter says, in part, “Overriding state constitutional provisions and interpretation denies states and their citizens essential liberties as well as an important check and balance on the power of the national government: the ability to protect their interests by keeping government and the settlement of legal disputes closest to them where actions can be monitored and held accountable. Moreover, federalization of the law in this manner snuffs out the spirit of innovation and the distinct regional strengths that lie at the heart of American greatness.”
Additionally, IFL believes that this bill would set a dangerous precedent for future congressional action, being a proverbial “camel’s nose under the tent” for a more left-leaning Congress to federalize a nearly-infinite number of public policy issues. IFL President Andrew Langer had this to say:
“The principles of federalism don’t merely exist as a procedural block for procedure’s sake. They exist to protect and preserve individual rights. As the Supreme Court said in New York v US in 1992, the Constitution protects us from our own best intentions, and ‘federalism secures to individuals the liberties that derive from the diffusion of sovereign power.”
The text of the letter can be found HERE.