Sen. Mike Lee thinks tort reform efforts at the federal level may be unconstitutional.

Lee tells Think Progress that an attempt to put damage caps on malpractice suits may not pass constitutional muster, because the federal government cannot tell state courts how to operate.



LEE: Congress needs to be very careful when it enters into a uniquely state law area like tort. So tort reform needs to be undertaken very carefully insofar as it’s done at the federal level. There are some tort suits that proceed in federal court and, um, but if we venture much outside of that, particularly if we get into telling state courts how to interpret state law, that can be constitutionally problematic.


KEYES: [State tort reform] might not be justified as far as the enumerated powers go?


LEE: Correct, correct. . . . [tort reform] is something that can be addressed in some way at the federal level, but most of it needs to be done at the state level.