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Supreme Court: Class Action Lawsuits Are a Privilege, Not a Right

Posted on Apr 28, 2011
Wikimedia / Jim Kuhm

There is a takeaway message from this latest devastating ruling by the Supreme Court, which says there is nothing wrong with giving corporations the power to prevent cheated consumers from banding together to mount class action lawsuits, and it is this: Corporate interests are on a slash-and-burn campaign against any sort of collective action on the part of the American people. —YL

Los Angeles Times:

The Supreme Court gave corporations a major win Wednesday, ruling in a 5-4 decision that companies can block their disgruntled customers from joining together in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling arose from a California lawsuit involving cellphones, but it will have a nationwide impact.

In the past, consumers who bought a product or a service had been free to join a class-action lawsuit if they were dissatisfied or felt they had been cheated. By combining these small claims, they could bring a major lawsuit against a corporation.

But in Wednesday’s decision, the high court said that under the Federal Arbitration Act companies can force these disgruntled customers to arbitrate their complaints individually, not as part of a group. Consumer-rights advocates said this rule would spell the end for small claims involving products or services.

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By Bob, April 24, 2012 at 12:29 pm Link to this comment
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, the film’s thesis (as I urnndstaed it) is pretty dead-on. I have worked in corporations large and small, including some of the world’s most powerful ones, and at an executive level from which I was afforded a view beyond the cubes and right into the Board room and the CEO’s office. And corporations are no different than bake sales, bowling leagues, or church congregations in that they are made up of just plain folks at all levels (yes, even at the executive level) at about the same frequency you’d find in any other assemblage of human beings: a few are very, very good, a few are very, very bad, and the great majority are neither, but are instead just regular folks, a little good, a little bad, mostly neither and just trying to get along/go along.But take that standard distribution of human nature and stir it up in the corporate rendering pot and here I’m talking corporations where big money is in play and the result is almost always pathological. The bad actors will generally rise to the top   the sociopaths, the compulsive liars, the @ss-kissers, the amoral. This is so because short-term success is the only thing that is rewarded by shareholders, and thus by the CEO, and thus by the execs, and thus by the managers . And the quickest, surest route to short-term success, throughout all of human history, is to be the biggest SOB on the block. Let’s face it: it works. In rare instances you can advance by being smarter, more creative, more insightful than everybody else (I like to think that’s how I rose through the ranks, anyway), but there is a distinct glass ceiling to that aapproach. Really smart, really constructive guys are really not welcome at the top, whaich is the SOBs’ Club.As a necessary consequence, the organization as a whole takes on an amoral character with a thin moral veneer just enough to keep us out of the paper, not enough to be an inconvenience. In that environment, good people swallow theirmorals every day, because getting fired is scary it is a Little Death for most folks. You have kids to feed, a mortgage to pay; you can’t afford to rock the boat. You’ve signed a bargain with the devil. Only very infrequently do people actually say take this job and shove it . Mostly they keep their heads down and their mouths shut the attitude which has enabled every evil the world has ever known.So, yeah, overall I’d have to agree. It really makes very little (if any) difference how good a person you are. Once you’ve bought into the systemyour soul pretty much belongs to the system, and it ain’t pretty.As for me, earlier this year I finally said I ain’t gonna work on Maggie’s farm no more.  And I couldn’t be happier. Re-discovering my moral self is really exciting, and heartening.ub.

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By Inherit The Wind, April 30, 2011 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

Item after item, corporations are being protected from being held accountable for their cheating.

And always by Re-Thuglicans.

This post seems to fit a lot of threads.

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By thethirdman, April 28, 2011 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Thanks Maani.  Invalidate does sound better.

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By Maani, April 28, 2011 at 5:16 pm Link to this comment


The most common, accurate antonym for the verb “legitimate” is “invalidate.”  Although it doesn’t go nearly as far as I think you want it to, that would be the word.


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By Bat Guano, April 28, 2011 at 4:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

It’s named the District of Corruption for a reason folks. Nothing goes untouched.

When the Supremerino’s ruled that a corporation was effectively a person it was all over for the American people.

This should come as no surprise. America is dead, long live Amerika.

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By TDoff, April 28, 2011 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment

thethirdman, Yes, I think so. See:

Il le git i mate, (verb), 1. To publicly reveal their ovine and bovine parentage, so nullifying their claims to human citizenship, and exposing their birth certificates as forgeries, thus subjecting them to the public ridicule they have so earned, 2. To render inoperative by jammimg their robes up their a**es, stuffing their heads in their circular files, and rolling them down the SCOTUS steps into rush-hour traffic. 3. To ignore their inane utterings, subject them to anarchic rule and law, have each tattooed ‘I am an effing idiot’, 500 times over every inch of their skin, and turn them naked into the streets. (In other words, give them their just deserts)

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By patinreno, April 28, 2011 at 2:44 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

These judges are as corrupt as Hitler’s were. May they end up the same as his did.

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By gerard, April 28, 2011 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

As presently constituted this Court stands to go down in history as the most unjust set of justices (so-called) in the history of the country. Seems like the crimes of the legislative, the administrative and the judicial are all coming together to create one colossal failure

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By gerard, April 28, 2011 at 2:33 pm Link to this comment

As presently constituted this Court stands to go down in history as the most unjust set of justices (so-called) in the history of the country.

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By TDoff, April 28, 2011 at 2:11 pm Link to this comment

The rumors are correct! The next legal move by US corporations is to claim that the Rape, Pillage and Plunder laws do not apply to fictional persons, which the corporations are now claiming as one of their poly-person-alities.

I’m all for women’s rights, and I’m pro-choice, but maybe if Roe-Wade were overturned, we could get rid of corporations. I cannot conceive of a court, even SCOTUS, that would not rule that current US corporations are abortions.

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By thethirdman, April 28, 2011 at 2:09 pm Link to this comment

At what point is our system of law and order null and void?  What does it take to
illegitimate our highest court?  (can you use illegitimate as a verb?)

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By TDoff, April 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm Link to this comment

Yet another travesty from SCOTUS, Inc.

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