Justice Scalia’s Legacy to Consumers


In the wake of the passing of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia there have been many articles and commentaries about him and his legacy to American jurisprudence.  One area in which Justice Scalia led the charge (unfortunately) was the enforcement of mandatory arbitration clauses that rob consumers of their right to trial by jury or otherwise pursue claims in civil court. In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion (2011) and American Express v. Italian Colors (2013), Justice Scalia wrote the majority opinions which favored the big company and it’s arbitration clause over the little consumer and his/her constitutional rights.

For more on Justice Scalia’s enforcement of arbitration clauses, read this article which references remarks from one of Justice Scalia’s colleagues and one of his closest friends, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  A review of Justice Scalia’s opinions and perspectives is not a denigration of his name but a recollection of his legacy and a lesson for the future.  His untimely absence from the Supreme Court provides an opportunity to sway the balance of the Court for years to come.

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