Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Roberts Court: "Corporate America's Employees of the Month"

Bloomberg Businessweek paid the Roberts Supreme Court the, uh, compliment of naming them The Supreme Court: Corporate America's Employees of the Monthin a 06/27/2013 article by Paul Barrett, also known for his notably industry-apologetic reporting on the firearms industry and the NRA.

This is how they featured it in the print edition:

According to Barrett, it is the Roberts Court's willingness to block consumer lawsuits that earned them the dubious honorific label:

The 2012-13 high court session, which concluded June 26, saw the justices continue a multiyear pattern of interpreting regulations and statutes in a manner that insulates corporations from liability risks. In other words, the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has narrowed the avenues available to employees and consumers seeking to take their grievances before a judge.

Evident in the court's decisions is a deep-seated hostility to ambitious lawsuits aggregating the claims of hundreds or thousands of plaintiffs. "The class action is an exception to the usual rule that litigation is conducted by and on behalf of the individual named parties only," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in a 5-4 ruling in March that shielded Comcast (CMCSA) from a monopolization suit seeking $875 million on behalf of 2 million cable subscribers. Scalia, whose tendency to toss verbal Molotov cocktails sometimes limits his ability to build majorities on the high court, has emerged as the determined architect of a strikingly restrictive class-action jurisprudence, an area the justices historically had left to the lower courts. [my emphasis]
This should embarrass the Supreme Court. But most of them surely take it as a compliment.

But when it comes to slavish devotion to the Money Power (as the Jacksonians called it), it's hard to top their notorious "judicial activist" decision in Citizen's United: Court green-lights corporate election spending 01/22/2010:

I think the Roberts Court is going for the Corporate Employees Of The Century title.

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