Michael I. Kraus Quote

“When governments use the judiciary to recover “damage,” the courts intrude on the regulatory and revenue responsibilities of legislatures. And when lawsuits based on tenuous legal theories impose high costs on defendants, due process gives way to a form of extortion, with public officials serving as bagmen for private contingency fee lawyers.”

~ Michael I. Kraus

Michael I. Kraus and Robert A. Levy, (Michael Kraus is professor of law at George Mason University in Arlington, VA, and Robert A. Levy is a senior fellow of constitutional studies at the Cato Institute), in So Sue Them, Sue Them, CATO COMMENTARY, June 7, 1999.

Ratings and Comments

Mike, Norwalk

It happens more often than not.

jim k, Austin, Tx

One solution to this frivolous lawsuit problem that infests this country, would be to fine the people bringing the suit and making them pay court costs.

E Archer, NYC

How much 'justice' can you afford? It costs millions to present a case to the Supreme Court. In drug possession cases, the police can seize all your assets leaving you unable to wage a defense -- and most likely they will keep the property -- the 'plea bargain' is where the common man gets railroaded. Try to get a trial by jury and the judge will throw the book at you. It is a racket, pure and simple.

E Archer, NYC

Interesting take to suggest that by making it common practice to raise the money for police and the legal system, fines are imposed on the 'criminals' rather than the legislature budgeting funds for it. That means that laws are made to be broken so that police men can get a salary. No crimes, no fines, no police. Now the police and government can just take whatever they want with asset forfeiture rules. Talk about legal plunder...

John Shuttleworth, NYC

Compensatory damages awarded by judges and/or juries have been around for thousands of years. IF it is within the authority of a court to levy such which has been by royal decree but also by constitution as evidenced from Ancient Greece onward. Let us re-read those ancient texts upon which these authorities are based.

Mike, Norwalk

Another travesty here exposed is "restitution". When a court imposes (an executive function) restitution, it is the government that gets the emolument, not the injured party - making them whole. The occupying statist theocracy infesting this land is in the business of extortion. As Archer mentioned - police state confiscations, there is also the 2nd plank of the communist manifesto, civil financial remedies imposed for victimless crimes, etc., etc., etc. all demonstrating public officials are primarily in the business of serving as bagmen for tyrannous despots. Such depravation of character is a natural atmosphere for lawyers and privateer / corporate malefactors' lawsuits that implement action(s)t based on nothing more than tenuous legal theories which impose high costs on defendants.

Jim k, Austin

E Archer is right.


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