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Not Their Money to Give Away

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Not Their Money to Give Away

Letter to the Editor in the The Washington Post

 

The Post was right to criticize judges for taking money from class- action lawsuit settlements and giving it to charities that they and other lawyers favor [“When Judges Get Generous,” editorial, Dec. 17]. Law schools, religious groups and others are getting millions that should be going to consumers.

The problem is even worse in state courts than it is in federal courts.

In California, for example, state judges use class-action settlements for ideological purposes. Settlements intended to benefit consumers get paid instead to groups that lobby for affirmative action, hate-crimes laws, undocumented immigrants and public funding for abortion, even though many consumers have no interest in such political causes.

Class-action settlements are supposed to benefit the consumers in whose name the lawsuit is brought. All too often, consumers receive nothing more than worthless coupons in class-action settlements, while the lawyers involved get millions of dollars and the rest is given to special-interest groups.

HANS BADER

Counsel

Competitive Enterprise Institute