Ted has a new essay out by this title in AEI’s Liability Outlook series (Sept. 11). To quote from the conclusion:
One can debate the appropriate role for each of the three branches in the post-9/11 world in coordinating domestic and foreign policy in responding to terrorism. But one matter should be beyond debate. Individual litigants in individual cases should not be able to use the combination of civil liability rules and the power of the civil courts to interfere with larger national policy. Congress can disagree with the executive branch, but should do so through legislation, rather than abdicating its responsibilities to trial-lawyer proxies. Civil liability is a poor tool for deterring suicide bombers, and civil anti-terrorism laws are bound to have their greatest effect when used against innocent parties.