This is the second of a two part series on the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act – a piece of legislation that is central to many automobile lemon law claims. Last time, we looked at the life of William Grant Magnusson. This time, we will examine the other legislator whose name this legislation bears.
Frank Edward Moss (September 23, 1911 – January 29, 2003) was born in Utah – the state he would later represent in the Senate. Like William Magnusson, Moss was also a lawyer by training, graduating from the George Washington University Law School, Washington, D.C., in 1937. Following graduation, he served on the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In 1937, he returned to Utah where he served as a municipal court judge and then as a county attorney. Following an unsuccessful bid for the governorship of Utah in 1956, he was elected to the US Senate in 1958.
In the Senate, Moss took a particular interest in health care, environmental, and consumer issues. In 1967, he wrote a book entitled “The Water Crisis” dealing with issues of water use and pollution, especially in the Western portion of the United States. Moss was instrumental in legislation concerning fair packaging and labeling and truth in lending. He was active in health related legislating, being one of the original sponsors of Medicare and authoring the ban on TV cigarette advertising.
In 1976, he lost his Senate seat to Orrin Hatch and returned to the practice of law. Since Moss, Utah has not sent a Democrat to the U.S. Senate.
Both Magnusson and Moss shared a deep interest in protecting the health, safety and rights of the individual; from the safety of toys, to health care, to the Product Warranty and Guarantee Act. While lemon law attorneys frequently mention and use the “Mag-Moss” Act, we should occasionally pause and reflect on the great good that these two important legislators did for many other aspects of individual rights and health.