Two new cosponsors sign onto S 3696 -- total is now 20
A study was made of Senate bill cosponsorship in the period 1973-1990. 20 cosponsors is much higher than the averages for all Senate bills (Fig. 3 on page 37) and bills that passed the Senate (Table 1 on page 40) during this period. It is stated on page 23 that the averages in Fig. 3 are only for bills that had a cosponsor. It is not stated whether Table 1 is for all bills or just bills that had a cosponsor, but the context of Table 1, which shows the numbers of all bills that passed and failed to pass the Senate, implies that bills without cosponsors were included in computing the averages in this table. The percentages of bills that had cosponsors are shown in Fig. 2 on page 36.
BTW, I incorrectly stated that S 3696 was passed by the Senate Judiciary Committee -- the current status is that hearings have been held in the committee.
The House version of PERA passed by 244-173.
The enactment of PERA would put an end to the "Dover Trap" crap, which I am really sick of hearing about.
I have discovered than even Judge Jones conceded that the plaintiffs had too many attorneys in the Kitzmiller v. Dover case:
In January of last year, I conducted the first scheduling conference in the case in my courtroom. And it was my first exposure to the lawyers who would be involved in this case . . . . . at that early date it was clear that I had more lawyers in the case than I had parties. Now, I don't dislike lawyers, some of you may, but I practiced myself for 22 years before I became a judge. But at that point I was somewhat fearful because too many lawyers, like too many cooks, can indeed spoil the broth.
There is nothing wrong per se with having more lawyers than parties, but there were 9-10 plaintiffs' attorneys of record. Though the law (42 USC §1988) requires attorney fee awards to be "reasonable," Jones nonetheless approved an exorbitant attorney fee award of over $2 million (later negotiated down to $1 million). What a jerk.
I would greatly prefer a fee cap in both establishment clause and free exercise clause cases, but I think that the present version of PERA is much better than nothing. And I think that a reasonable fee-cap bill would be a shoo-in.
Labels: Attorney fee awards