Supreme Court Hearts Big Business

Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Justice Samuel "Big Business" Alito
Both statistical and anecdotal evidence suggests that the U.S. Supreme Court under Chief Justice John Roberts is the most business-friendly of any Supreme Court in the last 50 years.
A study prepared for The New York Times by legal scholars at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago found that the Roberts court has ruled in favor of business interests 61% of the time. The court during the last five years of Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s leadership ruled only 46% of the time for business. And all courts prior to that, going back to 1953, favored business in only 43% of cases.
During the last term of the Roberts court, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce came out winners in 13 out of 16 cases in which it supported one side.
One of the most stirring examples of the Roberts court favoring business came in its Citizens United decision, which threw out decades-old restrictions on how much money corporations can spend on elections.
Four of the ten most pro-business justices in the past 57 years are on the current court: Samuel Alito, John Roberts, Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Is the Roberts Court Pro-Business? (by Lee Epstein, William M. Landes and Richard A. Posner, Northwestern University Law School) (pdf)


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