Five weeks from now, when the American Tort Reform Foundation’s annual Judicial Hellholes report ranks lawsuit-laden California among the most problematic, economy-sapping civil court jurisdictions in the nation, few if any objective observers will argue. The body of evidence the report will adduce in its overwhelming case against California includes the growing tsunami of consumer protection litigation that threatens to chase still more businesses and tax revenue out of the once-Golden State, while driving prices for goods and services ever higher.

Speaking of higher consumer prices, the costly and arguably arbitrary food-labeling requirements of Proposition 37 — to be embraced or rejected by California voters on Tuesday — would purportedly protect consumers from unknowingly purchasing genetically modified products that science has repeatedly shown to be safe. This trial lawyer-written measure needs no criticism from out-of-staters like me because most significant California newspapers have already condemned it as a “scam” to promote “shakedown” lawsuits, among other things.

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