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Friday, May 13, 2011

New York Times: "A Devastating Blow to Consumer Rights"

Today's New York Times editorial summarizes the blatantly pro-business decision in the Supreme Court case of AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, and takes a hard stand against the blatant corporate bias on the Roberts Court.

Calling it "a devastating blow to consumer rights," the editorial rightly described the Corporate Court's decision "a dramatic example of judicial activism."
In his dissent, Justice Stephen Breyer highlights the damage to consumers: “What rational lawyer would have signed on to represent the Concepcions in litigation for the possibility of fees stemming from a $30.22 claim?” And he made clear that many rational couples would not press their own case for that amount if it meant “filling out many forms that require technical legal knowledge or waiting at great length while a call is placed on hold.”
We have already seen fallout from this decision, as corporations have moved to have class-action cases dismissed and forced into one-on-one arbitration. Citizens are being told that they gave up their right to have fair access to our courts when they purchased a product, or signed terms of service for some software, and the courts are now bound to agree.

The Times editorial concludes:
Unless Congress fixes the problem, the Supreme Court’s decision will bar many Americans from enforcing their rights in court and, in many cases like this one, bar them from enforcing rights at all.
Click here to read the full editorial.

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