Trump Talk:LIVE WITH JEFF CROUERE

Saturday, 17 March 2012 11:57
Louisiana Lower, Appellate Courts Should Adjudiate
 

louisiana capitol 2Two recent Louisiana Supreme Court decisions have sent a clear message to the lower courts (in particular to the Third Circuit Court of Appeal): "Adjudicate, don't legislate."  

In the first of those decisions, Oliver v. Magnolia Clinic, the majority told the lower courts that “trial courts and courts of appeal are bound to follow the last expression of law of the Louisiana Supreme Court.”  In this case, the lower courts had not.  The opinion went on to revisit its reasoning in a prior case to remind the courts of their obligation to follow the latest expression of law regarding the constitutionality of the state’s $500,000 cap on medical malpractice claims.

 

The court was careful to acknowledge both the primacy of the legislation and the limits of its own role. “Our job,” the court wrote, “as a court tasked with reviewing laws, is to ensure statutes are free of constitutional infirmities.  Once satisfied that legislation does not infringe upon constitutional rights, any other perceived infirmity is to be addressed by the legislature.”  

In the second opinion, Arabie v. Citgo Petroleum Corporation, the Supreme Court again took the district court and Third Circuit Court of Appeal to task for their far-reaching decisions which would have given punitive damages (in addition to their compensatory damages) to 14 plaintiffs.  These decisions were rendered, even though the Louisiana Legislature had specifically repealed a punitive damage provision in 1996.  The plaintiffs had asserted that, because CITGO’s corporate management had been headquarted in Tulsa—and then moved to Houston—and had made corporate decisions from those states, Oklahoma and Texas laws which allowed for punitive damages should trump Louisiana’s absent law.

However, the court said: “As we have previously discussed, the legislature has seen fit to authorize punitive damages only in certain specific instances.  The fact that punitive damages are only authorized in particular situations shows that the State has a general policy against punitive damages.”  And the opinion went on to dispel the notion that punitive damages should be awarded because of an out-of-state law under a conflict of law theory.

What a refreshing idea: leaving “lawmaking” to the “lawmakers.” Unfortunately, until relatively recently it was a novel idea in many of our appellate courts—including the state Supreme Court—that legislating from the bench wasn't the prerogative of the judiciary. Over the last several decades, the Supreme Court has handed down many decisions creating law from judicial fiat or changing the intent of legislative acts. The current Supreme Court, to its credit, is reversing that trend. 

These two decisions, though quite dissimilar, are the Supreme Court’s messages back to the lower courts that the job of the state’s judges is to interpret the law as written and intended by the Legislature, not to make new law. 

If the lower courts pay attention to the Supreme Court whose rulings they are obligated to follow, it could be an indication that Louisiana is on its way to an improved judicial climate where businesses and individuals can operate with predictability based on the laws written by the Legislature.

by Dan Juneau, President of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry

Media Sources

BayoubuzzSteve

Website: www.bayoubuzz.com
Login to post comments
Powered By JFBConnect
  • LABI's Waguespack pokes Edwards tax delay, promotes Louisiana Legislative outlook
  • Louisiana ranked 25th in medical doctors, hospitals
  • Quin Hillyer: Freedom Caucus,hardliners "just Screwed the American people"
  • Trumpcare loss a mere distraction from RussiaGate

wag edwards tweetIn the age of rapid response, social media, President and CEO of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry took to twitter to apparently poke the Democrat Governor and to promote his own tour of his own legislative package, or legislative outlook tour, beginning today.

Today, Stephen Waguespack of LABI tweeted in response to The Advocate’s Tyler Bridges article that John Bel Edwards would be delaying his release of his tax overhaul package that was scheduled for today.

Read More

doctors wallet hubWith Louisiana's Louisiana legislative session about to commence early April, the state has another ranking to consider--how it ranks for medical doctors.

 

Read More

quin hillyer health 5Have the conservative Freedom Caucus and advocacy organizations such as Freedom Works and Heritage Action "screwed the American people"?

That's the feeling expressed by at least one long-time conservative Republican, who, as millions of others were outraged by the destruction of the Obamacare "repeal" and replacement, on Friday.  

Read More

comey sitThe GOP will likely claim that the bogus “ Assisted suicide counseling” will still be covered since Obamacare remains the law of the land. That’s good news for GOP legislators who planned on voting “yes” on its repeal. The rich, also, should be happy the old law remains because they have wounds that need tending after the mega tax breaks for them that were inserted in Trumpcare went the way of leeching. The failure to repeal, of course, is the Democrats fault. Trump said so, but he has reason to be happy, too. The health care debacle managed, if just for an hour, or two, to deflect attention away from Russia.

Read More

latter-blum2

TRUMP TALK

Trump Talk: Ryancare, Russia, Investigations, Travel ban--with Jeff Crouere

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1