The Supreme Court: Business’s best friend?

The U.S. Supreme Court just finished a term with a range of decisions that came out on the side of the business class.

If you run a major corporation or want to use your great wealth to buy elections, said Dahlia Lithwick in, the U.S. Supreme Court has just finished off “a spectacularly great term.” Under Chief Justice John Roberts, a former corporate attorney, the “radical conservative majority” of this court spent the past year slamming the courthouse door on women, minorities, and any American seeking a level playing ground. By a 5-4 vote, the court dismissed a class-action lawsuit from Wal-Mart’s underpaid female employees, said The New York Times in an editorial. It overturned an Arizona law awarding public matching funds to political candidates facing a wealthy opponent, and ruled that investors couldn’t sue a mutual fund that cheated them. This consistent pattern of siding with money and power, by a court whose Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas openly ally themselves with right-wing groups, has badly “weakened the court’s reputation for being independent and impartial.”

This court is actually not that ideological, said Jonathan Adler in Only 20 percent of its rulings this term were by 5-4 votes, which is actually below average for the past decade. If it has a bias, it’s in favor of free speech. Arizona’s campaign-finance law, for example, attempted to discourage wealthy individuals from buying political ads by holding over them the threat of publicly funded reprisal ads. The court struck down that law for precisely the same reason that it also ruled to allow the selling of violent video games to children, and to let the abominable Westboro Baptist Church hold profane protests at military funerals. “Free speech isn’t always pretty,” said the New York Post, but our nation is founded on its protection. “It’s a blessing to have a Supreme Court so invested in protecting America’s bedrock right.”

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.


Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us