There’s little question that the GOP has gained a stranglehold on the Supreme Court and that BP may be about to be one of the greatest benefactors in history from such a relationship. Whether it’s Justice Roberts leaving injured consumers in the cold or the destruction of voting rights, it’s hard to not see this Court as more than stewards of corporate America.
In the case of BP, the company has appealed the terms of its settlement in the Deepwater Horizon case. This agreement was entered into and the terms were full and well understood by BP at the time it agreed to the settlement. Now BP is unhappy that it is having to make good on the claims people are filing through the settlement process. BP claims that it is being forced to pay frivolous claims.
BP understood that it was sacrificing discernment in the process for peace in the wake of the disaster. BP basically viewed the original settlement as a PR stunt to try and save face after the Deepwater Horizon disaster and now, regardless the people it will hurt, wants to back down from keeping its word to “make this right.”
So the settlement is being appealed by BP to the Supreme Court at the same time that BP is trying to amend and rewrite the settlement terms in the lower courts. A fact BP doesn’t want you to knowaccording to Alison Frankel at Reuters.
It goes further though, BP’s Supreme Court appeal goes before Justice Antonin Scalia. Little known fact though, Justice Scalia’s son works for the law firm that is representing BP at the Supreme Court. That smacks of a conflict of interest.
Related: Scalia and Alito have Major Conflict in Deepwater Horizon Case
But if this Court has shown us anything in its tenure it’s that when it has to choose between corporations and regular people, it chooses corporations.
Joshua is a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire. You can follow him on Twitter @Joshual33.