SCOTUS decides corporations can grant themselves a license to steal and violate the law
Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued a major blow to consumer, antitrust, employment and civil rights laws. In a 5-3 decision in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors Restaurant, the Court ruled corporations can use the fine print of contracts to grant themselves a license to steal and violate the law. The Court decided that corporations can force small businesses and individuals into arbitration even when it can be proven that they will not be able to enforce their rights under federal law.
Corporations hide forced arbitration clauses in the fine print in order to stack the deck against American consumers, employees and small businesses. Forced arbitration mandates that Americans cannot go to court, but instead have to go to a private arbitration tribunal designed by the very corporation their claim is against.
American Association for Justice (AAJ) President Mary Alice McLarty issued the following statement on today’s decision:
Today’s Supreme Court decision is a major blow to America’s consumers, employees and small businesses. The Supreme Court ruled that corporations can use the fine print of contracts to grant themselves a license to steal and violate the law.
It is imperative that Congress and federal agencies act to protect individuals and small businesses from the abusive practice of forced arbitration. Without Congressional action, all federal and state civil rights, employment, antitrust, and consumer protections are at risk of being wiped away by the fine print.
The Arbitration Fairness Act was introduced earlier this year to revoke corporations' license to steal and violate the law.
This case was about antitrust laws, but the implications extent to many federal rights and protections.
For more information, listen to an auto recording of AAJ's press call on the decision here and below.
Federal Laws at Risk
- Age Discrimination in Employment Act
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1991
- Credit Repair Organizations Act
- Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
- Electronic Fund Transfer Act
- Equal Pay Act
- Fair Credit Reporting Act
- Fair Debt Collection Practices Act
- Fair Labor Standards Act
- False Claims Act
- Family and Medical Leave Act
- Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
- National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2013 (amending the Military Lending Act)
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act
- Right to Financial Privacy Act
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act
- Securities Act of 1933
- Securities Exchange Act of 1934
- Servicemembers Civil Relief Act
- Sherman Antitrust Act
- Telephone Consumer Protection Act
- The civil provisions of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
- Truth in Lending Act
- Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA)