|Power Grabs in the States: Countering Preemption
Since the civil rights movement, American cities have been places of innovation and incubation when it comes to advancing equity and inclusion. Today, however, they face a fast growing threat. Since the 2010 midterm elections, state lawmakers have—at the request of corporate lobbyists and trade groups—become more aggressive in their use of preemption to stop local lawmaking across a broad and expanding range of issues, including labor standards, civil and voting rights, environmental protection, and public health. Preemption, prompted by money’s influence over politics, is now being used to negate elections, perpetuate racial and economic inequality, and limit local anti-discrimination efforts. The sheer number, significant reach, and punitive nature of these bills present a serious and deepening threat to the integrity and effectiveness of local democracy.
A related area of concern is increased efforts to preempt or prevent the courts from resolving disputes, that is, limiting the power of the courts over claims by citizens against corporations. Increasingly, corporations are imposing mandatory arbitration in standard-form contracts, as with cell phone contracts, and attempting to bar judicial oversight. Another area of this type of preemption is with efforts to limit the power of juries to award the full measure of damages warranted by the facts, by arbitrarily limiting non-pecuniary and punitive damage awards. These and related measures seek to preempt governmental bodies from limiting or punishing bad corporate actors or activities that may harm numerous people.
Please join the Piper Fund for a timely discussion about power grabs that are occurring in the states.
Date: Tuesday, August 8
Time: 9:00-10:00 PST/11:00-12:00 CST/12:00-1:00 EST
Click here to RSVP.
Speakers will discuss the landscape of state preemption, connect current preemption efforts to the corporate agenda being implemented through the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the oil and gas industry, and trade organizations, including the National Restaurant Association, and share newly developed legal strategies and resources that can be used to push back preemption and protect the power of local democracy. The panel will also address tools and tactics to respond to the attacks against the courts so they are an independent check on other branches of government. Speakers will include: