It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
As chief justice, John Roberts has shown a strong pro-business tilt. On the eve of the appointment of a replacement for Justice John Paul Stevens, the stakes have never been clearer.
The Roberts court has repeatedly placed corporate interests first and the rights of individuals second, as shown by an in-depth analysis that we just completed, “Unprecedented Injustice: The Political Agenda of the Roberts Court.” In many cases, this court has disregarded precedents and long-held principles to do so.
For those who care about unchecked corporate power, personal freedoms and respect for judicial precedent, the picture revealed by our data isn’t pretty. The record shows that the Roberts court consistently protects the powerful at the expense of the rest of us.
In the 2006-07 term, for example, the Roberts court heard 30 business-related cases and at least 22 — or 73 percent — were decided in favor of large corporations.
A litany of cases heard by the Roberts court, and often decided by 5-4 votes, demonstrates this rightward, pro-Big Business tilt — an approach that will certainly continue, even after a replacement for Stevens has been seated.
According to our analysis, these cases include:
• A consumer seriously injured by a defective medical device cannot sue the manufacturer if the product was approved by federal government regulators — even if the company knew the product was dangerous.
• Exxon was allowed to escape full financial liability for the damage done to communities and the environment by the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
• Two decisions that left many waterways no longer protected by the Clean Water Act, resulting in 1,500 major pollution investigations being halted and a 50 percent reduction in EPA actions against water polluters.
• Corporations have the same constitutional right to free speech as ordinary citizens, which opened the floodgates of unlimited corporate spending in federal elections.
• A woman paid less than her male peers for 20 years had no right to bring a lawsuit for equal pay because she failed to file the suit within 180 days of the first instance of discrimination — though she had no way of learning about the discrimination until years later.
But this pro-Big Business tilt demonstrated in our research is just one part of the story. It seems clear that many Republicans, perhaps prodded by their corporate allies, are herding key programs of the post-New Deal era toward the front door of the Supreme Court.