In a series of 5 to 4 rulings, a majority on the United States Supreme Court effectively has rewritten the law to favor big business at the expense of the American people, according to a new documentary. Unequal Justice: The Relentless Rise of the 1% Court, produced by Alliance for Justice (AFJ), was released online Monday.
“Today, as the Supreme Court begins a new term, the court will be ‘open for business,” said AFJ President Nan Aron. “The term is already packed with cases with the potential to restrict corporate accountability and limit everyday Americans’ civil rights and access to justice The Court’s decisions this term could have harmful consequences for the ability of consumers, victims of discrimination, and others to get a fair day in court.
“But no one should be surprised,” Aron said. “What we are likely to see in the term that begins today was decades in the making.”
Unequal Justice chronicles a 40-year campaign by corporate special interests to put the thumb of big business on the scales of justice. The campaign has its origins in a profoundly-influential memo written in 1971 by corporate lawyer Lewis Powell, just months before he himself was named to the court by President Richard Nixon. The memo urged the business community to fight what was then a burgeoning consumer and environmental movement.