I was tagged in a facebook note by Justin Tomczak who is interested in having a discussion about Amendment 1. With his permission, I’m reprinting his note below to facilitate a wider audience for discussion.
I wanted to get some feedback on your thoughts on Amendment 1 on the November Ballot. In the State House, the measure passed 137-22. In the State Senate it passed 45-2. My initial reaction was negative, but if the Trial Lawyers are against it and the GA Chamber is for it, I think I’ll have to take another look at it.
I’ve included part of a letter from Rep. Levitas and would appreciate feedback on this matter. Thanks!
Employment agreements are private contracts between private parties. The freedom of these individuals to contract between themselves is an essential liberty of our American democracy. Freedom of contract supports the inherent right of individuals and businesses to form contracts without government interference.
Under current Georgia law, judges and trial attorneys are in the business of voiding private contracts without regard to either the intent of the parties or the terms of the contract itself. If Amendment 1 passes, the power to contract will be returned to its rightful place: individual choice and responsibility in the free market.
As it stands, judges have usurped for themselves the power to say whether an agreement between private parties can stand. The government has no business restricting the liberty of individuals to contract, but if it Amendment 1 does not pass, then judges are free to continue to dictate to people how to live their lives and to run their businesses. Trial attorneys make good money from trying to get the courts to help break contracts, to nullify promises that people make to each other. I believe that individuals are the best judges of what is right for them, not the government, a belief at the very heart of Amendment 1.
Far from stifling economic growth, Amendment 1 will help create and keep jobs in Georgia, which is losing out to neighboring states like North Carolina and Florida whose laws are in line with the 43 of 47 states that permit private parties to enter into employment agreements. Startup companies and small businesses are often the victims of employees who steal confidential information, accumulated over years of hard work by the entrepreneurs who employ them. This proprietary information is the very lifeblood of companies. I have attached for your review a letter from one such small business owner Ray DeMott who was victimized by his employee’s misappropriation of confidential information.
A vote against the Amendment keeps judges and trial attorneys in charge of the business sector, while a vote for the Amendment promotes the essential mission of the Libertarian Party: individual liberty and responsibility, freedom of contract, freedom from government intervention in the private sector and in the private lives of citizens.
I urge Georgia Libertarians to reconsider their position on Amendment 1 and would be glad to meet with you and other members of the Party to discuss this important issue. I would also welcome the opportunity to speak to your members about the need to pass this freedom-promoting measure.
Rep. Kevin Levitas