(afagen)

Bill Aims To Restore Consumers’ Legal Rights Stripped Away By Supreme Court Rulings

In recent years, a narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly sided against consumers’ access to the justice system, concluding that a 90-year-old law gives companies the authority to effectively skirt the legal system by preempting customers’ lawsuits. That’s why some legislators have decided it’s time to change that law. [More]

Supreme Court: You Can’t Shut Down A Consumer Class Action By Offering Settlement

Supreme Court: You Can’t Shut Down A Consumer Class Action By Offering Settlement

If you believe that a company has wronged you and other consumers in the same way, you can file a class-action lawsuit seeking to represent all the purported victims of the company’s misbehavior. But can that company preempt the entire lawsuit by offering you a full settlement in advance? Today, the U.S. Supreme Court (well, six of them) said no. [More]

Bill Lewis

24 Stories We Covered In 2015 That We Never Saw Coming

The following is a true story: One day, two Consumerist staffers were chatting about the work day. One said, “I can’t believe I’m writing about the legal ramifications of butt-dialing.” The other replied, “We should probably remember this conversation for a year-end story about things we didn’t expect to ever write in 2015.” A calendar alert was made, and our future selves were duly reminded. [More]

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

Supreme Court Once Again Shows Its Disdain For Consumer Rights

For the third time in five years, the U.S. Supreme Court had a chance to reverse a terrifying trend in consumer rights by doing something, anything, to rein in “forced arbitration” clauses that strip consumers of their legal rights and effectively give companies a license to steal. And for the third time in five years, the SCOTUS majority showed its interests lie in protecting the coffers of big business rather than Americans’ access to the legal system. [More]

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Supreme Court To Hear Another Challenge To Affordable Care Act Contraception Rules

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear its fourth challenge to the five-year-old Affordable Care Act — and the second challenge involving the law’s requirement that employers provide insurance that includes coverage for female workers who choose to use birth control. [More]

Authors Guild Says Google Books Is “Serious Threat To Writers”

Authors Guild Says Google Books Is “Serious Threat To Writers”

Last week, a federal appeals court upheld a district court ruling that Google Books — the search engine that uses scans of actual books for its results — is a legal “fair use” under U.S. copyright laws. This decision is not sitting well with the professional authors trade group that sued Google, and which intends to take its argument before the U.S. Supreme Court. [More]

(Paul Thompson)

Supreme Court Shuts Down Attempt To Move Oakland A’s To San Jose

Professional sports teams relocate all the time — just ask the NFL’s Oakland Raiders, who moved moved to L.A. and then back home again in a little more than a decade (and who are among the lead prospects to fill the pro football void in L.A.). So it would seem no big deal for the Oakland A’s to only move about 50 miles away to San Jose, right? Not quite. [More]

(Jeff Kubina)

America’s Biggest Companies React To SCOTUS’ Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

While it might not seem like there’s a direct link to same sex marriage and our country’s biggest businesses, even before the Supreme Court of the United States ruled today that marriage is a constitutional right for any American, many major companies came out in support of same-sex marriage, saying those rights help them do business better. Today, some of those companies — and more — spoke out in celebration of the landmark ruling. [More]

(Jeff Kubina)

SCOTUS: You Can Sue Over Housing Discrimination Even If That Discrimination Wasn’t Intended

Housing rights groups and civil advocates were granted a win this morning by the Supreme Court of the United States, which ruled in a 5-4 vote that people can pursue lawsuits under the Fair Housing Act of 1968, that prohibits housing discrimination because of race, even when a housing law or policy isn’t motivated by an intent to discriminate. [More]

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

SCOTUS Ruling Means Millions Of Americans No Longer At Risk To Lose Health Insurance Subsidies

The Affordable Care Act scored a major victory today as the Supreme Court upheld provisions allowing the government to provide tax subsidies for consumers who purchased insurance through the program, although their states don’t have an official insurance exchange of their own. [More]

(Christian Schnettelker)

SCOTUS Sides With California Farmer Who Refused To Pay Raisins Into The National Reserve

A few years back we heard the tale of a California farmer who was raisin’ a stink over the government’s insistence that he pay 1.2 million pounds of raisins into the national reserve without paying him for them. Today, the Supreme Court of the United States sided with him, saying the Fifth Amendment requires the government to pay just compensation when it takes personal property (movable property), just as when it takes real property (things like land). [More]

Supreme Court: L.A. Hotel Owners Can’t Be Forced To Turn Over Guest Info Without A Warrant

Supreme Court: L.A. Hotel Owners Can’t Be Forced To Turn Over Guest Info Without A Warrant

Should the police, without a warrant, be able to walk into a hotel and get the names, addresses, license plate numbers, and other information about any guest who stayed there in the last three months? And should hotel owners face criminal charges if they fail to comply? The City of Los Angeles thinks so, but this morning the Supreme Court disagreed. [More]

(frankieleon)

Consumers Can’t Void Second Mortgage In Bankruptcy, SCOTUS Rules

Consumers taking out a second mortgage will now have to consider the fact that if they encounter financial difficulties and file for bankruptcy, they won’t be able to strip off the additional loan obligation. [More]

Supreme Court Rules That You Have To Intend A Threat For It To Be A Real Threat

Supreme Court Rules That You Have To Intend A Threat For It To Be A Real Threat

Lots of people have ill-will and mountains of unflattering things to say about their exes. Many of those people say those things online. But if your rant happens to be filled with violent language that makes your former partner afraid for their safety, even if you say you had no intention of ever following through, is it still a real threat? [More]

(Ryan Glenn)

FTC Affirms Consumers’ Right To Go To Court Over Warranty Disputes

In just the last four years, the U.S. Supreme Court has twice ruled against consumers’ rights and in favor of companies that use fine print in their contracts to block wronged customers from suing in court and from joining together as a class action. In spite of these rulings, the Federal Trade Commission recently upheld rules that give warranty buyers the right to a day in court, even if they have to go through arbitration first. [More]

(Misfit Photographer)

Supreme Court Says Convicted Felons Have A Right To Sell Their Guns

Plenty of Americans legally own firearms. If any of them are later convicted of a felony (that isn’t related to the weapons) and can no longer own a gun, should they have the right to have some input on where their former firearms go? According to the U.S. Supreme Court, yes. [More]

(Scott Lynch)

The Nation’s Biggest Companies Agree: Gay Marriage Is Good For Business

Next month, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments with regard to the legality of state laws that prohibit same-sex marriages. And while the issue has been politically divisive, many of the nation’s most powerful corporations — from airlines to insurance to beer to baseball teams — agree that banning gay marriage is not good for business. [More]

(photo: Other98.org)

Marching Band Delivers Petition To Citi Asking Banks To “Revoke License To Steal”

In a handful of recent decisions, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed the right of businesses to effectively break the law by putting a few carefully worded sentences into their contracts and user agreements. But just because you can add these clauses doesn’t mean you have to do so, which is why pro-consumer advocacy groups gathered more than 100,000 signatures on a petition that was delivered, with a little bit of music, to Citigroup HQ in Manhattan this morning. [More]