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Do Federal Courts Favor Big Business, Corporations?

By James Norwood on March 14, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's a touchy subject, but one worth broaching: Do business interests carry too much sway over federal judges?

A recent panel discussion at New York University School of Law shed some light on this issue, and it seems that at least the Supreme Court appears to lean in favor of big business interests.

The Supreme Court came under fire from some NYU panelists, who cited the Chamber of Commerce's win rate during Chief Justice Roberts's tenure. The Chamber had won 68% of the cases in which it participated from 2006-2010, compared to the Chamber's win rates of 56% in the Rehnquist Court and 43% in the Burger court, said Doug Kendall, head of the Constitutional Accountability Center (CAC).

The CAC found that the court's five conservative judges sided with the U.S. Chamber of Congress at least two-thirds of the time. Even the four so-called liberal justices side with big business at least half the time according.

The panelist also discussed whether federal judges at all levels are hostile to jury verdicts and are inappropriately shutting off consumers' access to courts.

Recent Supreme rulings, including those favoring arbitration, suggest a wariness towards consumers and a view that they should not "clog the court with litigation," said Allison Zieve, director of the Public Citizen Litigation Group, the Wall Street Journal reports.

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