Kia Franklin

Deforming the Dream

The folks at pro-corporate website Overlawyered don't only like to give TortDeform funny pet names, they apparently also like to misstate our words. I guess our civil justice system isn't the only thing susceptible to being deformed. Ted Frank writes:

If you're looking for the most strained use of Martin Luther King, Jr., as a metaphor, look no further than a non sequitur at Bizarro-Overlawyered, where Kia Franklin calls on King's memory as an argument against preemption. The historically minded will note the irony of invoking King's name in a defense of states' rights to subvert federal principles of uniform treatment.

Oh, sigh. Here was my response:

Thank you for highlighting my blog, but your analysis is a sad misstatement of my words and a misinterpretation of King's philosophies. Perhaps you did not read my blog carefully, because I acknowledged the positive effect that express preemption had on the implementation of civil rights laws, and compared it to the MISUSE of the preemption doctrine that we see today. I wrote that:
...[Measures that] deform our civil justice system must be met with with effective reforms that would actually increase access to justice. This includes improvements like... cutting out loopholes in the court system like misuse of the preemption doctrine..."

I've also previously said that:

"federal civil rights legislation helped strengthen American civil rights by outlawing discriminatory practices that many states’ laws would have allowed. Today, however, preemption is increasingly used as a weapon to undermine state laws that protect public health and safety, and to eliminate provisions allowing persons to take violators of these laws to court."

I invite readers to actually read my post. I cite to King's reflections on how the profit motive is taking over the rights of human beings. I also look forward to seeing adequate attention given to MLK and his philosophies on this website, as promised by Ted.

More on preemption later.

But, this just in, on Democracy Now, Amy Goodman is interviewing Grace Lee Boggs, whose scholarship on MLK and insights as a philosopher and activist I cited to in yesterday's post. They discuss the same article I quoted. Grace Lee Boggs is phenomenal. In her early 90s, she presents her vision of social change, and her understanding of the relevancy of King's philosophies, with wisdom and clarity. Listen to the show here.

Kia Franklin: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 10:48 AM, Jan 22, 2008 in Debates with Tort "Reformers"
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