March 4, 2011
Sen. Russell says that when he has challenged Oklahoma Senators define the term “tort” most could not. But these same Senators voted for the HB 863, a so- called tort reform bill anyways.
The Red Dirt Reporter has the story.
Russell disappointed in Senate support for tort-reform bill
By Andrew W. Griffin
Red Dirt Report, editor
Posted: March 1, 2011
OKLAHOMA CITY — Appearing on the Radio Oklahoma Network’s Scott Mitchell Show radio program this past Saturday, State Sen. Steve Russell (R-Oklahoma City) addressed his vote in the Senate last week where he was one of the few Republicans to vote against a bill calling for un-Constitutional tort reform.
Red Dirt Report covered the debate over this bill and the comments made on the Senate floor by Sen. Russell and others.
The bill, SB 863, was authored by Sen. Anthony Sykes (R-Moore) and tepidly passed through on a vote of 29-18. Many Constitutionalists and Tea Party folks, as well as Democrats, have come out against the bill which now moves to the House.
Mitchell, who introduced Russell, noted that when Republican Senators were asked why they were “so hellbent on getting this done” and the supporters of the bill were offering up “mumbles” as answers.
Mitchell then noted that Russell, a strict Constitutionalist, is coming out in support of the 7th amendment, something this Republican-led bill does not consider.
“The right of redress of grievances has to be guaranteed in our Constitution, we can’t determine facts before the case is known,” Russell said. “And yet you have people who seem to have little concern that ‘We the People’ should be tryers of fact and juries … you set a pre-determined amount before you’ve even heard the facts of the case and this amount is extraordinarily low. I think it’s amazing that folks are just moving right along as if this isn’t even an issue, that it’s something we have to have.”