Boiler Plate: 1 Consumers & Employees: 0

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by CalBoy, May 3, 2011.

  1. CalBoy macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #1
    Last week in a relatively quiet 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court decided that you could surrender your right to the court system, even if you weren't aware of it.

    AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion is the case, and it basically holds that the Federal Arbitration Act preempts all state and local laws concerning contracts. The act specifies that if binding arbitration is a contract term, all courts must abide by it.

    Until last week, California (and many other states) had protections in place to prevent abuse of this by large corporations who use contracts of "adhesion." Adhesion contracts are basically those that don't really let you negotiate the terms (ie, if I want a mobile phone from ATT, I can't really choose my billing date, which hidden charges I agree to, etc).

    In the past, courts were very skeptical of adhesion contracts that deprived individuals of due process protections (car companies were the first to try this by "contracting" away their tort liability and warranty requirements).

    What this means is that every business from now on will have a binding arbitration clause in the boilerplate of its contract (a contract which you have very little control over if you need one of the many necessities in life), and there will be no way for consumers to go outside of the arbitration process. Of course arbitrators are supposed to be neutral, but under the current standards of the law, they can be paid for by the corporation and they are not subject to any kind of judicial review or oversight.

    As last note of cruel irony, the law itself is nearly 90 years old and was written for a different era.
     
  2. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #2
    yep and what is worse is the abitrators that those big companies let you used as approved are ones that side with them. If to many times they go to the consumer (aka 1 time is enough) that side arbitrator can kiss ever being approved again good bye. Said arbitrator will be blacklisted from the company. Big company abuse that boiler play way to much.
     
  3. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #3
    This court is so predictable. We need another liberal to keep this stuff from happening anymore. It's insane. Our system is failing- bigtime.
     
  4. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #4
    That's an important point, and one that is almost certain to happen. Arbitrators are mostly retired judges who do it to make pocket money in retirement. But, these days judges' salaries have fallen relative to the rest of the economy because of inflation. A lot of judges are opting for early retirement and hopping straight into full time arbitration because companies will pay anywhere from $200-500/hour. No one is going to willingly get off that gravy train if all they have to do is keep siding with the people they see on a daily basis.

    This is clearly a long term strategy on the part of large corporations to undo the labor achievements of the 30s, 40s, and 50s. We've essentially lost unions, a fair tax code, and now due process for civil cases.

    The safety and security honest hard working people had is being pulled out from under them.
     
  5. Thomas Veil macrumors 68020

    Thomas Veil

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2004
    Location:
    OBJECTIVE reality
    #5
    I saw this. It's arrogant of the Supreme Court, but I don't think it looks totally hopeless for the consumer. Perhaps after 2012, a more friendly Congress could amend, or repeal and replace, the arbitration law, which would make the Supreme Court decision moot. The new law could contain language which would specify that it does not supersede the rights of people to participate in class action suits.
     
  6. leekohler macrumors G5

    leekohler

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, Illinois
    #6
    Oh yes. The conservatives are sending this country down the drain faster than I ever imagined. It's verging on pychotic. This is very frightening.
     
  7. CalBoy thread starter macrumors 604

    CalBoy

    Joined:
    May 21, 2007
    #7
    While I'm sure that Obama will be reelected in 2012, I'm not so certain about the success of the Democrats in the House elections. I haven't been keeping up with seat races, but 22 seems like it's a long ways away, especially without the strength of Rahm Emanuel as a whip (despite whatever else he's done, he is a very effective organizer and strategist).

    Then there's always the question of whether or not the Democrats have the balls to actually pass such legislation. They've proven themselves inept in recent years when it comes to actually advancing the average person's interests.
     
  8. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2006
    #8
    You know as well as I do that neither party is going to do anything about it.
    The big company from all over will be giving out huge bids in the form of "Campaign financing" to kill any bill like that.

    I also willing to bet Unions would be as well. Way to much money involved not to and now that big bussiness won this court case they are going to abuse it even more.

    Sadly are so called elected leaders do not give a damn about the people who vote for them but want to just make sure they can still bring in the bribs.
     
  9. mcrain macrumors 68000

    mcrain

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2002
    Location:
    Illinois
    #9
    A handful of right wing conservatives are rapidly undoing things we created through democracy in this country.

    The next time a right-winger complains about "liberal activist judges," I'm going to hit them over the top of their head with Justices Roberts, Scalia and Thomas.
     

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