Washington, D.C., September 11, 2013—The last Supreme Court term “was filled with rulings that weakened the ability of the justice system to ensure fairness and equality, and instead permitted discrimination and corporate deception,” according to a report released by Alliance for Justice, which calls on Congress to step in and correct the Court’s most damaging decisions.
Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron called for action, saying that, “This Supreme Court and its conservative majority continues to relentlessly undermine basic civil rights, shift power to big business, restrict access to the courts, and remove any hope of recourse for discriminatory or abusive corporate behavior. Congress must step in and undo the damage, just as it did when it passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. The Roberts Court, which has proven time and again to be hostile to everyday Americans, cannot be allowed to have the final word when fairness and equality are at stake.”
The First Branch: How Congress Can and Must Repair the Damage—and Build on the Limited Progress—of the 2012-13 Supreme Court Term, asks Congress to:
- Correct the decision in Shelby County v. Holder by restoring the Voting Rights Act to full force and ensuring that all Americans have equal access to the polls;
- Expand the rights of LGBT Americans, partially addressed in United States v. Windsor, by passing the Respect for Marriage Act and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act;
- Repair the damage done to workers’ rights in University of Texas Southwestern v. Nassar and Vance v. Ball State University by restoring and clarifying Title VII protections for employees who face employment discrimination;
- Pass the Arbitration Fairness Act to correct many recent Court decisions, including last term’s American Express v. Italian Colors, which have given big business free rein to use forced arbitration clauses to keep consumers, small businesses, and employees from standing up for their rights in court; and,
- Ensure that the United States continues to provide a fair forum in the federal courts for victims of human rights abuses by clarifying the role of the Alien Tort Statute, whose protections were severely weakened in the case of Kiobel v. Royal Dutch Petroleum.
» The full report is available here.
» Also, The Roberts Court and Judicial Overreach, AFJ’s recent report on the ways in which the conservative majority on the Supreme Court consistently uses tactics that stretch the boundaries of proper judicial behavior, can be found here.
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Alliance for Justice is a national association of over 100 organizations, representing a broad array of groups committed to progressive values and the creation of an equitable, just, and free society. AFJ works to ensure that the federal judiciary advances core constitutional values, preserves human rights and unfettered access to the courts, and adheres to the even-handed administration of justice for all Americans. It is the leading expert on the legal framework for nonprofit advocacy efforts, providing definitive information, resources, and technical assistance that encourages organizations and their funding partners to fully exercise their right to be active participants in the democratic process. AFJ is based in Washington, D.C. Additional information can be found at www.afj.org.