Access to Justice

RELEASE: CAC Statement on Supreme Court’s unanimous New Prime decision interpreting the Federal Arbitration Act

“Today’s decision shows that even a business-friendly Supreme Court can be persuaded to rule for workers when presented with strong arguments rooted in text and history.”

WASHINGTON, DC – Upon learning of the Supreme Court’s unanimous 8-0 decision in New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira, the Constitutional Accountability Center’s (CAC) Appellate Counsel Brian Frazelle said:

“Today’s decision shows that even a business-friendly Supreme Court can be persuaded to rule for workers when presented with strong arguments rooted in text and history. Corporate America urged the Court to interpret the Federal Arbitration Act in a way that would block many truck drivers and other transportation workers from seeking redress in court for their employers’ illegal behavior. But the Court unanimously rejected this effort to expand corporate immunity. CAC was gratified to see the how the opinion, written by Justice Neil Gorsuch, echoed the arguments made in our brief and drew upon the historical materials we cited in support of those arguments. The Court’s opinion, tracking the history presented in our brief, explains how the statutory terms in dispute here evolved to have different meanings today than they did when the FAA was enacted in 1925. What matters, as we argued and the Court confirmed, is what those words meant when Congress wrote the statute. And when properly understood in that way, the FAA’s language does not prevent workers like the plaintiff in this case from vindicating their rights in court.”

CAC filed its amicus brief with the Supreme Court on July 25, 2018 in support of Respondent Dominic Oliviera, the truck driver whose right to his day in court was being challenged by New Prime, Inc.

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Resources:

Slate article on New Prime, Inc. v. Oliveira written by CAC’s Brianne Gorod and Brian Frazelle, published October 5, 2018: https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/10/john-roberts-arbitration-truckers-new-prime.html

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

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