A Dow Chemical settlement made public Friday indicates that Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was worth billions of dollars to corporate America.

David Dayen reports at The Intercept:

Dow was in the midst of appealing a $1.06 billion class-action antitrust ruling, after a jury found that it had conspired with other chemical companies to fix prices for urethane, a material used in furniture and appliances.

But because of Scalia’s death and the sudden unlikelihood of finding five votes on the Supreme Court to overturn the case, Dow decided to settle for $835 million, the bulk of the original award.

“Growing political uncertainties due to recent events with the Supreme Court and increased likelihood for unfavorable outcomes for business involved in class-action suits have changed Dow’s risk assessment of the situation,” the company told Bloomberg News. …

… The 4-4 split between liberals and conservatives on the Court means that, in most controversial cases, a deadlock allows the lower court ruling to stand. And in nine of the 13 federal district courts of Appeals, Democrats have appointed the majority of judges, making it harder for corporations to get a favorable.

Read more here.

—Posted by Alexander Reed Kelly.

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