http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703630404575053330978667138.html?mod=googlenews_wsj OPINION FEBRUARY 8, 2010, 6:59 P.M. ET How the Plaintiffs Bar Bought the Senate Citizens Unitedmight break its political stranglehold. By JAMES R. COPLAND The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission to permit independent campaign expenditures by corporations has led to a good deal of hysteria about money and influence in politics. But for those, like me, who view factions as inherent in democracy, the decision was welcome. Labyrinthine campaign-finance laws serve mainly to entrench incumbents and empower those special interests either exempted from regulation (i.e., the institutional media) or best able to navigate the maze of rules. Among the latter group, no lobby has been more empowered than the legal profession—specifically the trial lawyers. SNIP Since 1990, the sums donated to federal political candidates by lawyers—excluding lobbyists—exceed $1 billion, according to CRP. Lawyers as a group have given more to federal candidates than any other industry or profession. Their ability to keep tort reform out of the health-care reform bills is unsurprising: Congressional campaign contributions by lawyers in the last election cycle were about $25 million more than the combined total of political donations from doctors, pharmaceutical companies, HMOs, hospitals and nursing homes.