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Palin on Exxon Decision:

Tony Mauro has a short item on Gov. Sarah Palin and the Supreme Court's Exxon decision. Interestingly enough, Palin and her husband qualified as members of the class in the litigation, but did not file. Nonetheless, Palin was supportive of the plaintiffs' claims, and critical of the Supreme Court's decision.

After the Supreme Court ruled, Gov. Palin was critical of the outcome. "I am extremely disappointed with today's decision by the U.S. Supreme Court," she was quoted as saying. "While the decision brings some degree of closure to Alaskans suffering from 19 years of litigation and delay, the Court gutted the jury's decision on punitive damages." She also said, "It is tragic that so many Alaska fishermen and their families have had their lives put on hold waiting for this decision. My heart goes out to those affected, especially the families of the thousands of Alaskans who passed away while waiting for justice."
[LvHB]

Darwin Award Suggestions:
This is a classic case of "where you sit determines where you stand." She's expressing the sentiment of most long-term Alaska residents, and almost certainly every one with ties to the fishing industry. I wouldn't use her position on this one to extrapolate that she's a card-carrying member of the John Edwards school of unlimited tort liability theory in general.
8.30.2008 5:14pm
PersonFromPorlock:
How about a week's moratorium on Sarah Palin threads until we actually know something about her? So far all we have is interested parties asserting godlike probity and rampant puppy-eating. Shouldn't we wait at least until both sides have decided on their own facts?
8.30.2008 6:24pm
Rod Blaine (mail):
The cartoons are going to write themselves this fall. (Scene: Democrat[ic] Party Headquarters. Party operative - surrounded by dozens of placards saying "NO MORE BUSH CRONIES", "GOP = DRAFT-DODGING CHICKENHAWKS" and "IF MEN COULD GET PREGNANT, ABORTION WOULD BE A SACRAMENT" - screaming down the phone "You ordered HOW many million of these things a year ago?!!").
8.30.2008 6:34pm
trad and anon:
PersonFromPorlock—agreed 100%. Can we start talking about something else now please?
8.30.2008 6:57pm
Find A New Topic, Pleez?:
How about a week's moratorium on Sarah Palin threads until we actually know something about her? So far all we have is interested parties asserting godlike probity and rampant puppy-eating.
Amen, brother! Much more and Professor V. will have to rename the blog "The Palin Conspiracy." Or maybe "The Moose-Hunting, Salmon-Fishing, Floatplane-Flying, Marathon-Running, Hockey- and Basketball-Playing, Beauty-Contest-Entering, Many-Children-Birthing, Tina-Fay-Impersonating, Brother-in-law-Persecuting Conspiracy." Except that I think the Bass Pro Shops already copyrighted parts of that phrase, so only Joe Biden can get away with using it without attribution.
8.30.2008 7:01pm
krs:
Agreed with PersonFromPorlock, except that this blog is providing the most rational, least hysterical commentary I've seen on Palin...
8.30.2008 10:45pm
Cornellian (mail):
No one like punitive damages until they're the one who got hurt.
8.31.2008 12:01am
FlimFlamSam:
There's a perfectly principled conservative position on the issue completely in line with Governor Palin's, and that is that the Due Process clause is no substantive limit on punitive damages.
8.31.2008 1:12pm
Jim at FSU (mail):
Cornellian:
I thought the purpose of punitive damages was to punish the tortfeasor and dissuade future misconduct, not to make the victim whole again. You're confusing punitive damages with the actual damages (ie, the harm suffered, future earnings, loss of companionship, emotional distress, etc).

I think the correct restatement of your principle is:

No one likes punitive damages until they get hurt by someone with deep pockets.
8.31.2008 2:04pm
neurodoc:
...actual damages (ie, the harm suffered, future earnings, loss of companionship, emotional distress, etc).
The "etc." doesn't include the plaintiff's legal expenses, which can significantly reduce the amount which was supposed to take care of those other enumerated damages.
No one likes punitive damages until they get hurt by someone with deep pockets.
Since most insurance policies do not cover punitive damages, one can like or not like punitive damages for any defendant, but unless the D has those deep pockets, it won't much matter. Granted, the bigger the D and smaller the P, the more just punitive damages may seem, but that's a subjective thing, the sort of award a court is more likely to reduce, often considerably.
8.31.2008 7:23pm