Essay contest draws fire from group's opponents

Cleveland Plain Dealer
Saturday, March 30, 2002

An essay contest for high school seniors about the Ohio Supreme Court is a sly attempt to promote a business-backed agenda during an election year, says the leader of a national public interest group.
The Ohio Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse initiated a college scholarship essay contest recently, asking graduating teens to write 200 words or fewer on the Supreme Court's function in government. OCALA sent a flier to every public high school in the state to see if students have a basic understanding of what the Supreme Court does, said the group's executive director, Tony Tanner.


"I can tell that some of the kids went to the Ohio Revised Code and read what the court is supposed to do, and that is what we are looking for.”
But Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the New York-based Center for Justice and Democracy, suspects a more sinister goal.
"They are not a citizen group, they are a corporate front group,"
Doroshow said.
OCALA favors limiting corporate liability in injury lawsuits, but the Supreme Court has shot down two legislative tort reform efforts in past years.


Doroshow suspects the group will seek essays that fit with OCALA's viewpoint and then pass them off as an objective analysis.
"It is part of their public-relations strategy, but it is pretty disgusting
 to use innocent high school students to accomplish a callous political goal like getting immunity for corporate wrongdoing," Doroshow said.
Tanner denied Doroshow's allegations.

For a copy of the complete article, contact CJ&D.

Join Our Fight!

The Center for Justice & Democracy is the only national consumer organization in the country exclusively dedicated to protecting our civil justice system. If you'd like more information, please contact us.

Connect with us