U.S. Supreme Court becoming a tool for corporate interests: study

A study has found that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts has undergone a fundamental shift in its outlook, ruling in favor of businesses much more often than previous courts.

According to the Northwestern University study, commissioned for the New York Times, the Roberts court has sided with business interests in 61 percent of relevant cases, compared to 46 percent in the last five years of Chief Justice William Rehnquist, who passed away in 2005.

   A second study, from the Constitutional Accountability Center, has charted the growing influence of the US Chamber of Commerce on the courts. The chamber started filing amicus briefs with the top court three decades ago in an effort to prompt more business-friendly rulings.

According to the study, the Roberts Supreme Court has sided with the Chamber 68 percent of the time, up from 56 percent under the Rehnquist court, and noticeably higher than the 43 percent during the relevant part of Chief Justice Warren Burger’s court, which ended in 1986.

The court is expected to rule soon in two cases that could once again benefit corporations. A case involving AT&T Mobility and another involving Walmart will challenge the practice of class-action lawsuits. If the court sides against customers in the AT&T case — or against plaintiffs claiming gender discrimination at Walmart — it could restrict or even end class-action lawsuits, which many legal observers say are among the most powerful tools to redress corporate misbehavior.

The full article on this subject may be found at:

The Raw Story – http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2010/12/supreme-court-tool-corporate-interests/

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