Heidi Heitkamp’s campaign for the US Senate last year was very dependent on a big influx of cash from trial lawyers (including those at the law firm of a lawyer she granted a lucrative appointment to back when she was attorney general). Heitkamp even set up a special campaign fund to serve as a landing pad for the river of money lawyers were pumping into her campaign.
Now Heitkamp seems to be paying them back in spades.
A provision in the controversial Violence Against Women Act which Heitkamp championed opens up domestic violence shelters to lawsuits over discrimination based on sexual orientation. That’s a huge new liability for the often cash-strapped shelters, but a boon for lawyers.
And earlier this week Heitkamp (quietly, and with no announcement at all from her office) signed on to ENDA, or the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would create a federal protected class for homosexuals.
What ENDA does is open up a big new litigation playground for lawyers eager to collect big fees for suing over alleged discrimination.
Which, in turn, means more money they can pour into the campaign coffers of candidates like Heidi Heitkamp.
Again, it looks like the trial lawyers are seeing a good return on their investment in Heitkamp.