The Preemption War


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When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries

Thomas O. McGarity

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Most people are unaware of a quiet war that has been raging for the last decade in the courts, federal regulatory agencies, and Congress—a war over federal agency preemption of state common law claims. But the outcome of these battles will affect us all, says regulatory law expert Thomas O. McGarity, and consumers stand to be the biggest losers. In this comprehensive and balanced book, McGarity takes up for the first time this increasingly important subject. He shows how preemption affects the way citizens are protected from harm and companies are held accountable for damage they unlawfully cause.


The book offers scholars and policymakers a full analysis of the legal and policy issues under debate, and it brings into sharp focus the impact of preemption on the lives of people involved in actual lawsuits. McGarity highlights the arguments for and against preemption and suggests guidelines for resolving difficult issues in a variety of contexts.

Thomas O. McGarity is Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law, University of Texas School of Law. He lives in Austin.

"McGarity gives an excellent overview of the political quest to eliminate state tort lawsuits, reviewing the ensuing battlefronts across many industries in the judicial, legislative, and executive branches.  His research is extensive, his analysis insightful, as he comprehensively attempts to convey the sheer scope of the war." —Lanny Vickery, Trial

"As a professor of administrative law, McGarity knows his field well, and he explains it clearly in his book. . . . McGarity provides a careful, logical examination of court-made law in this area." —R. B. Cole, Choice
ISBN: 9780300122961
Publication Date: December 2, 2008
368 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 typeset figure
Freedom to Harm

The Lasting Legacy of the Laissez Faire Revival

Thomas O. McGarity

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