Yesterday, the U.S. House Judiciary Committee approved Rep. Ric Keller’s (R-FL) “Personal Responsibility in Food Consumption Act” (H.R. 339). Keller’s bill would protect restaurants from the increasing number of greedy lawyers looking to soak them on behalf of portly plaintiffs who don’t know when to put down their forks. “There is a real and present danger of an uncontrolled avalanche of lawsuits against restaurants, pizza parlors, public schools, and companies that make ice cream, soft drinks and cookies,” Keller recently told Congressional Quarterly.

Of course, certain lawmakers — those who tend to defend the plaintiff’s bar no matter what — claim the legislation is unnecessary because frivolous lawsuits can be dismissed and the lawyers who bring them penalized. But these lawsuits unfairly force restaurants to spend millions defending themselves, and those expenses are ultimately passed on to consumers.

John “Sue the Bastards” Banzhaf notes: “The lawyers have definitely smelled blood in the water.” No matter how many times these ambulance chasers come up short, they’re not going away. And neither are their activist stooges (click here for our “rogues gallery” of obesity warriors).

Congressman Keller’s H.R. 339 is gaining momentum in the House of Representatives, as over 100 of his colleagues have cosponsored the bill. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has introduced a companion bill in the Senate titled the “Common Sense Consumption Act” (S. 1428). He warns that obesity lawsuits “promote a culture of vitimhood and jettison the principle of personal responsibility.”

Thankfully, only nine percent of Americans are buying what obesity activists are selling. Let’s hope these numbers hold up in Congress.