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February 3, 2009

Professor Tom McGarity will discuss and sign his latest book, The Preemption War, February 7, 2009

The Preemption War Book Cover

Photo of Professor Tom McGarity
Professor Tom McGarity

University of Texas law professor Tom McGarity will be at BookPeople this Saturday, February 7, 2009, at 3 p.m. to discuss and sign his latest book, The Preemption War: When Federal Bureaucracies Trump Local Juries (Yale University Press, 2008).

McGarity says most consumers would be surprised to learn that the doors to the local courthouses are in jeopardy of being closed to them if they have been injured by a defective product, sickened by contaminated food, or disabled by an inadequately tested drug or medical device.

“The ones responsible for this injustice are not our local judges or legislators. They are faceless bureaucrats in the federal regulatory agencies who are supposed to be protecting us, but in recent years have been more concerned with protecting the industries they regulate,” McGarity said.

At the book signing, McGarity will explain how this has happened and what the Obama administration and Congress can do about it. He will also answer questions from the audience.

The book is the result of an interview that McGarity, a regulatory law expert, did with the New York Times three years ago for a story about the Bush administration’s quiet strategy to limit lawsuits against product manufacturers by asserting the power of federal regulatory agencies. It was an issue he had worked on as a member scholar of the Center for Progressive Reform.

While many people are unaware of the preemption war, the outcomes of these court battles will affect everyone, and consumers stand to be the biggest losers, McGarity said.

McGarity, who holds the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law, is a leading scholar in the fields of both administrative law and environmental law. He also teaches torts.

His previous book, Bending Science: How Special Interests Corrupt Public Health Research, which was co-authored with UT Law professor Wendy Wagner and published in May 2008 by Harvard University Press, described how advocates for special interests employ a range of devious tactics to manipulate or suppress research on potential human health hazards.

BookPeople is located at 603 N. Lamar in Austin, Texas.

Related links:

Thomas O. McGarity

New Faculty Books: The Preemption War by Thomas McGarity


Press contact:

Kirston Fortune, Assistant Dean for Communications, (512) 471.7330 or