Even today, our work is uphill. The powerful interests fight us on every battlefield they can.Look at the increasing corporate capture of the federal courts.According to a recent study, the five conservative justices currently sitting on the Supreme Courtare in the top ten most pro-corporate justices in a half century – and Justices Alito and Robertsare numbers one and two – the most anti-consumer in this entire time.
The Chamber of Commerce is now a major player in the Supreme Court, and its win rate has risen to 70% of allcases it supports.
Follow this pro-corporate trend to its logical conclusion, and sooner or later you’ll end up with a Supreme Court that functions as a wholly owned subsidiary of big business.Look at where we are on the “Too Big to Fail” problem.Five years ago, experts said the banks had to be bailed out because there was too muchconcentration in banking and one failure would bring down the entire economy. Now the four biggest banks are 30% larger than they were five years ago. The five largest banks now holdmore than
of all banking assets in the country. Because investors know they are too big tofail, those big banks get cheaper borrowing, which, according to one study, adds up to an annual$83 billion subsidy from taxpayers—another benefit of being Too Big to Fail.What about reform? The Dodd-Frank Act was an incredibly important achievement, but since it passed, the big banks and their army of lobbyists have fought every step of the way to delay,water down, block, or strike down regulations. When a new approach is proposed – like my billwith John McCain, Angus King, and Maria Cantwell to bring back Glass-Steagall – you knowwhat happens – they throw everything they’ve got against it.One more: take a look at what’s happening with trade deals.For big corporations, trade agreement time is like Christmas morning. They can get special giftsthey could never pass through Congress out in public. Because it’s a trade deal, the negotiationsare secret and the big corporations can do their work behind closed doors. We’ve seen whathappens here at home when our trading partners around the world are allowed to ignore workersrights, wages, and environmental rules. From what I hear, Wall Street, pharmaceuticals, telecom, big polluters, and outsourcers are all salivating at the chance to rig the upcoming trade deals intheir favor.Why are trade deals secret? I’ve heard people actually say that they have to be secret because if the American people knew what was going on, they would be opposed. Think about that. I1
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How Business Fares in the Supreme Court
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Doug Kendall & Tom Donnelly,
Not So Risky Business: The Chamber of Commerce's Quiet Success Before the Roberts Court - An Early Report for 2012-2013
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