The Supreme Court rejected T-Mobile’s appeal in 3 cases yesterday, which means an earlier federal ruling that says states “can refuse to enforce arbitration clauses if they include bans on class actions” will stand. Now T-Mobile has to go back to state courts to deal with the class action lawsuits against it. [Associated Press]
A 9-page look at how big business has been scoring big wins in the Supreme Court over the past 30 years [NYT].
The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to halve the punitive damages levied against Exxon for its massive 1989 oil spill from the Exxon Valdez tanker, from the current $2.5 billion to something more like $1 billion. Exxon claims the higher number amounts to excessive punishment. According to the New York Times, the decision may come down to a tie with four justices on either side; Justice Alito is not participating because he owns Exxon Mobile stock. The Exxon Valdez disaster “caused a 3,000-square-mile oil slick and still affects Alaska’s fisheries after nearly 19 years.”
The 8-1 decision came in a lawsuit by Alex E. Ferrer, a former Florida Circuit Court judge who decides minor civil disputes as a form of TV entertainment.
The Supreme Court ruled today in Leegin v. PSKS that manufacturers can collude with retailers to set the minimum prices of products, arguing that such a decision was good for competition. Succumbing to the court’s recent bender of conservatism is a 96 year-old precedent from Dr. Miles v Park that held minimum price accords as intrinsically – or in legalese, “per se” – illegal. Writing for the majority, swing-Justice Anthony Kennedy showed kiddies the dangers of taking crazy pills:
Supreme Court ends 96-year ban on manufacturers conspiring to set minimum product prices.
Speaking of crappy cell phone providers, we’ve long been aggrieved by the providers’ one-sided contracts. Sign up for a cellphone and all you are really guaranteeing a company like Verizon, Sprint or T-Mobile is that, over the course of the next year, you will continue to pay them whatever arbitrary monthly fee that they spontaneously dream up, regardless whether or not that is the fee you initially agreed to.