Report Exposes Supreme Court's Promotion of Forced Arbitration to Protect Corporations at the Expense of Everyday Americans
Press ContactKevin Fry email@example.com
Washington, D.C., October 11, 2011—Alliance for Justice today released a report exposing repeated and aggressive efforts by the conservative majority on the United States Supreme Court to radically rewrite the laws governing arbitration in order to shield corporations from liability.
Arbitration Activism: How the Corporate Court Helps Business Evade Our Civil Justice System details ways in which the Supreme Court’s rulings in cases like AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion and Rent-a-Center West v. Jackson have “allowed big business to abuse forced arbitration contracts, building up a privatized legal system that robs everyday Americans of the chance to be heard by an impartial judge and jury.” The Court’s actions can ripple through the legal system in a very short time, and the report tracks the harmful impact that the AT&T case has already had on civil and employment rights and constitutional protections in the five months since it was decided.
The Corporate Court’s rulings have systematically distorted existing federal law, allowed corporations to establish arbitration procedures that free themselves from class liability, and have removed many legal disincentives for corporate misbehavior. Most importantly, the Roberts Court has willfully undermined the fundamental principle that all Americans should have access to the courts, ensuring that all parties stand equal before the law.
In announcing the release of the report, Alliance for Justice President Nan Aron said, “Our nation is facing a crisis where our most cherished notions of fairness and the rule of law are being slowly chipped away by those who seek to concentrate all power in the hands of giant corporations and financial institutions. The aggressive expansion of forced arbitration by this Supreme Court is just one more example of how even the most routine aspects of our lives, from signing up for a cell phone or applying for a job, are being rigged to favor business interests and to disempower everyday Americans. We call on Congress to restore fairness and balance to the system of resolving consumer, employment, and civil rights disputes, before it is too late.”
The report is available for download here.
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The Senate Committee on the Judiciary will hold a hearing entitled “Arbitration: Is It Fair When Forced?” on Thursday, October 13, 2011, at 2:00 p.m. in Room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will discuss the Arbitration Fairness Act (S. 987) and many of the issues covered in the report.
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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.