H.R. 985 (The Misnamed "Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017")

On 02.14.17, the Impact Fund submitted a letter on behalf of 121 civil rights non-profit organizations and advocates, joined by 87 ally law firms, to oppose H.R. 985 (“Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act of 2017”). The bill severely undermines the enforcement of U.S. civil rights law by making it practically impossible to bring a class action lawsuit.

The Impact Fund wrote to remind the Committee that class actions are a critical mechanism for enforcing civil rights law, including laws prohibiting discrimination in employment, housing, education, and access to public areas and services. In the letter, we highlight some of the most egregious aspects of H.R. 985 that would restrict the public's access to justice.

We are not alone in our opposition to H.R. 985. Read the letters in opposition to the bill also submitted by:

The bill was marked up for consideration on 02.15.17, with no opportunity given for public hearings. The committee voted on partisan lines 19-12 to recommend the bill and forward it to the full House of Representatives for a vote. The full committee proceedings on the bill can be seen here (time marker 8:58:26 to end).

It should come as no surprise that H.R. 985 has the enthusiastic support of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We take a different view. We believe that ordinary men and women should not have their right to hold corporate America accountable taken away.

We will strenuously oppose all attempts to pass such far-reaching and flawed legislation that will deny access to justice for many and undermine the rule of law.

Read the blog written for legal practitioners which highlights the most egregious provisions of the bill.

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