March 17, 2008

A Pro-Business Supreme Court?

Jeffrey Rosen has an article in the New York Times Magazine in which he contends that there is a pro-business consensus on the United States Supreme Court. He points out the the U.S. Chamber endorsed the nominations by President Clinton of Justices Ginsberg and Breyer because of their perceived understanding of business interests. In fact, as Rosen explains, "Exactly how successful has the Chamber of Commerce been at the Supreme Court? Although the court is currently accepting less than 2 percent of the 10,000 petitions it receives each year, the Chamber of Commerce’s petitions between 2004 and 2007 were granted at a rate of 26 percent." Rosen also points to a series of recent wins by business interests in the United States Supreme Court, often with unanimous or close to unanimous votes. The article also focuses on the interesting point that in some cases, such as punitive damages, certain "conservative" justices such as Justices Scalia and Thomas actually do not come down on the "pro-business" side. We have previously blogged about that issue here and here.