Corporate Accountability

CAC Special Report: Improving Access To America’s Courts

Washington, DC – Today, Constitutional Accountability Center is releasing a report detailing the array of conservative attacks on the ability of individuals and small businesses to access America’s federal court system in order to vindicate their rights, as well as steps that progressives in Congress can take to defend against those attacks and improve access to courts. 

 

Read the Report here: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/Tilting-the-Scales-of-Justice.pdf 

 

CAC’s Special Report spotlights the longstanding, multi-front campaign of business advocates – led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce – to effectively nullify legal protections for consumers, employees, and other individuals by closing off the ability of those whose legal rights have been violated to go to court to enforce those rights. The campaign of business advocates to close the courthouse doors has proceeded on three fronts – Congress, the federal courts, and the Judicial Conference of the United States. The Report recommends proactive steps that progressives in Congress can take to inform and strengthen progressive advocacy, rein in business advocates’ campaign to bar aggrieved individuals from court, and ultimately stop and reverse that campaign and restore their constituents’ rights. 

 

As CAC Policy Counsel Elisabeth M. Stein, author of the report, writes, “Even when Congress tends strongly towards conservative interests guided by business advocates, as it does now in both chambers, progressives can successfully beat back anti-civil justice legislation.”  

 

The Report recommends that progressives now focus on continuing to resist and spotlight efforts to cripple the CFPB, particularly now that the agency has issued a rule barring class action bans in the fine print of agreements that some businesses have with consumers, borrowers, and small investors. Finally, the Report recommends that congressional progressives respond to business interests’ campaign to undermine and scuttle safeguards for individuals by speaking out publicly and, when appropriate in pending cases, submitting friend-of-the-court briefs – for example, in cases currently pending in District of Columbia federal courts that challenge the constitutionality of, and could otherwise cripple, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

 

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Resources:

 

Tilting the Scales of Justice: Conservatives’ Multi-Front Assault on Access to the Courts: http://theusconstitution.org/sites/default/files/briefs/Tilting-the-Scales-of-Justice.pdf 

 

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Constitutional Accountability Center (www.theusconstitution.org) is a think tank, public interest law firm, and action center dedicated to fulfilling the progressive promise of the Constitution’s text and history.

 

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