Does the Chamber of Commerce Own the Supreme Court?

Sunday, March 16, 2014
Justices Scalia, Roberts and Thomas

If you’re arguing a case before the Supreme Court, your best chance for winning seems to come if you have the Chamber of Commerce on your side. At least, that’s been the case for the past several terms.


Since John Roberts was confirmed as chief justice, cases in which the Chamber has an interest have gone the pro-business group’s way 72% of the time, according to the Constitutional Accountability Center. This compares to a 56% win rate from 1994 to 2005 when William Rehnquist, like Roberts a Republican appointee, ran the court. So far this term, the Chamber has come out ahead on seven of eight cases in which it’s involved.


There are eight cases with Chamber involvement this term yet to be decided. They include ruling on the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to address climate change issues, whether to limit investors’ ability to join to hold businesses accountable for securities fraud and whether to limit the president’s power to make recess appointments.


As might be expected, the court’s conservative wing consistently votes the Chamber’s way. Justices Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Roberts, Anthony Kennedy and Clarence Thomas favor the Chamber position more than 70% of the time. The four more liberal members of the court each vote the Chamber’s way about half the time.

-Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Tracking the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at the Roberts Court (by Tom Donnelly, Constitutional Accountability Center)

Supreme Court Ruled In Favor Of The Nation’s Top Corporate Interest Group In 7 Of 8 Cases This Term (by Ian Millhiser, Think Progress)

Is the Roberts Supreme Court in the Pocket of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce? (by Matt Bewig, AllGov)


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