I'm actually surprised that yesterday was the first time I heard about it. Over at the Torts Prof blog, run by Professor Childs of the Western New England School of Law, there was a short piece about tort reform by executive fiat.
Apparently in 2003, President Bush signed Executive Order 13303 (This order has since been expanded and modified by E.O 13315, 13350 and one signed on November 29, 2004.). These orders deal with claims against the Iraq Development Fund, the Iraqi oil industry, and anything arising from the sale or marketing of Iraqi oil. Essentially, with four strokes of the pen, President Bush has eliminated tort liability for entities working in Iraq, making them effectively immune from civil tort claims. Anthony Sebrok and Claire Kelly have a really well written analysis of this decision by the Bush administration.
Essentially, this is one step beyond what the FDA is trying to do with its new labeling regulations for perscription medicines. Instead of merely limiting the injured's recourse, they are eliminating it entirely.
Kraninger's Frustrating Confirmation Hearing
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