We have known for quite some time now that the Supreme Court has been strongly supporting big business. One of the most apparent indicators is the way the Court has ruled on Chamber of Commerce cases.
According to an article in the TPMDC, Sahil Kapur wrote, “Last term, the Chamber of Commerce won every Supreme Court case it weighed in on. So far this term, it has secured favorable rulings in 6 out of 7 cases.”
The Chamber’s favorable decisions, however, is only a symptom and not the problem. The problem is that the Supreme Court’s movement away from the center towards the far right, is starting to guide the Court’s decisions in the direction of big-business.
The consequences of these decisions are effecting all of our lives. Shouldn’t the Supreme Court make all their decisions based on how the issues hold up when challenged by the Constitution?
The Supreme Court’s pro-business direction caught the attention of Sen Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). She, “slammed the U.S. Supreme Court. . as being too right-wing in serving the interests of corporate America.” according to Talking Points Memo.
At a convention of AFL-CIO union leaders in L.A., Sen. Warren warned of a “corporate capture of the federal courts” and cited an academic study that claimed the five conservative judges were the “top 10 most pro-corporate justices in half a century.” Sen. Warren continued saying that this conservative Supreme Court “functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.”
In April of last year, The Nation reports that the “rightward shift of the Roberts Court is especially pronounced today, in the wake of the ghastly 2010 Citizens United decision.” That decision has allowed men like the Koch brothers to nearly buy the last election.
The fact remains that the Court has been leaning in the direction of big-business since the Burger Court in the 1980s. The Constitutional Accountability Center, a legal advocacy group wrote, “from 1981-1986, the Court sided with the Chamber of Commerce 43 percent of the time. That number rose to 56 percent from 1994-2005 under Chief Justice William Rehnquist, and to 69 percent from 2006-2013 under Roberts.”
The job of the Chamber of Commerce is to promote business. The Chamber has become arguably, the most powerful lobby in America. The rich are making their boldest attempt since the Great Depression, to essentially use the Chamber to do their bidding in Congress. The Court’s Citizen United decision gave corporations a huge upper hand in America’s campaign process.
This shift in the direction of corporate money has been a political response to a constitutional issue.
The Court must take steps to insure that they operate within constitutional boundaries. The Supreme Court should regulate big-business and not give corporations more freedom to spend more money. The Supreme Court’s right-wing judicial decisions have only benefited the rich.
Richard Andrew is a guest blogger for Ring of Fire.