Notable Quotables - Fixing Iqbal: Restoring Americans Access to Courts

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Notable Quotables - Fixing Iqbal: Restoring Americans Access to Courts 

“Under the court’s new regime, judges must assess the ‘plausibility’ of the facts of an allegation before allowing the plaintiff to begin collecting evidence. That gives judges excessive latitude to bury cases based on their subjective views before the evidence emerges and can be fairly weighed. The practical impact in, say, an employment case, is to disadvantage the wronged employee, who is unlikely to have access at the outset to the records needed to prove wrongful conduct.”
-The New York Times, Dec. 22, 2009

“This rule will reward defendants who succeed in concealing evidence of wrongdoing, since claims will be dismissed before discovery can proceed, whether it is government officials who violate people’s rights, polluters who poison the drinking water, or employers who engage in blatant discrimination. Often evidence of wrongdoing is in the hands of the defendants, and the facts necessary to prove a valid claim can only be ascertained through discovery.”
-Rep. Jerrold Nadler, testifying before the Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy, Dec. 16, 2009

 “This new authority to dismiss complaints is fraught with potential for unequal justice. … The emerging practices governing pleading have created a haphazard system in which the application of Iqbal and Twombly varies in ways entirely unrelated to the merits of a claim.”
- Eric Schnapper, University of Washington School of Law professor, testifying before the House Subcommittee on Courts and Competition Policy of the House Committee on the Judiciary, Dec. 16, 2009

“The better someone is at keeping their misdeeds private, the more Iqbal insulates them from liability: purveyors of secrecy remain above the law. … People don’t conspire in public. There was nothing in the public domain about the bed design of Ford Pinto gas tanks. The tobacco industry was not exactly forthright in disclosing its knowledge about the effects of smoking.”
- John Vail, Vice-President, Center for Constitutional Litigation, testifying before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties Committee on the Judiciary, Oct. 27, 2009

“It obviously licenses highly subjective judgments. This is a blank check for federal judges to get rid of cases they disfavor.’”
- Stephen Burbank, an authority of civil procedure at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, The New York Times, July 21, 2009

“[The decision] grants five justices the power to legislate [and] determine whether litigants ultimately will be able to have a meaningful day in court,” and constitutes a “subversion of statutory protections to benefit Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.”
- Arthur Miller, New York University School of Law professor, testifying before the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Committee on the Judiciary, Oct. 27, 2009.


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