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Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Supreme Court has become a tool of corporate interests

The Roberts court has ruled more favorably for large corpoerate interests than any previous court, and it's not even close. Chief Justice Roberts promise in his confirmation hearings that he will adhere to precedents and rule like a neutral referee proved to b e a lie in the Citizens United decision where he upturned 00 years of accepted law and allowed the corporate coffers to substantially influence elections from behind the curtain.

And it's likely to get worse. Two cases, both class action suits against large corporations are to be heard by the court who will, more than likely rule agsinst class action suits, the only weapeon consumers often have to keep corporate malfeasance in check.

Almost 40 years ago, a Virginia lawyer named Lewis F. Powell Jr. warned that the nation’s free enterprise system was under attack. He urged the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to assemble “a highly competent staff of lawyers” and retain outside counsel “of national standing and reputation” to appear before the Supreme Court and advance the interests of American business.

The chamber now files briefs in most major business cases. The side it supported in the last term won 13 of 16 cases. Six of those were decided with a majority vote of five justices, and five of those decisions favored the chamber’s side. One of the them was Citizens United, in which the chamber successfully urged the court to guarantee what it called “free corporate speech” by lifting restrictions on campaign spending.

The rise in the percentage of decisions favorable to corporate interests have leaped higher udner Roberts.

The Roberts court, which has completed five terms, ruled for business interests 61 percent of the time, compared with 46 percent in the last five years of the court led by Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, and 42 percent by all courts since 1953.

The full article is here in the New York Times.

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