Friday, January 20, 2012

Credit Card Arbitration Trumps Lawsuits, Court Says : NPR

Credit Card Arbitration Trumps Lawsuits, Court Says : NPR
Consumers who sign credit card agreements that feature an arbitration clause cannot dispute fees or charges in court, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday. The 8-to-1 decision drew immediate fire from consumer advocates.

To get a credit card, a consumer generally must sign a detailed agreement. In the fine print, almost always, is an arbitration clause that says that if consumers want to dispute fees, they must do so through arbitration, not in court.

A 1996 federal law allowed consumers to take their disputes to court. But in its ruling Tuesday, the Supreme Court said arbitration clauses in those agreements trump that law.

Your Supreme Court at work protecting consumers the way the usually do. Which is, not. Thanks to Beanie Adolph for this link. The full opinion is here.


Fred Fischer said...

This recent Supreme Court ruling is a classic example of ‘legislating from the bench.” Forget what current Federal law that was proposed and debated by all parties involved said, we a small number of judges knows best. Where the court errored is that they forgot that their are constitutional issues involved when denying a citizen’s right to their day in court before a judge, jury and where a public record is kept.

Did you notice the one thing that is in common in both of these cases of privatization? It’s called “concentrating power in the hands of a few” it’s one of the foundational reasons why America which was governed by Charters and Boards. Was abandoned and re-born as the United States of America, under three levels of government so power could not be in the hands of a few, owe how easy we forget !

First municipalities started public-private partnerships like privatizing housing now others are trying to PRIVATIZE JUSTICE ! Consequently this is why adhesion contracts should not be used to create housing associations and other housing related topics since they impact so many of our inalienable rights that are tied to property ownership.
“Mandatory binding arbitration was originally intended for disputes between corporations. It's now being forced onto consumers in many contracts, including those for credit cards, cell-phone service, home building, insurance, and nursing homes….”

“The deck is stacked against consumers. Companies choose the arbitration firms and can reward them with repeat business for favorable results. There's no judge, jury, or public record, and courts cannot set aside a decision just because it's capricious. Companies can delay or hold the arbitration anywhere in the country they have a presence. So consumers are locked into a privatized justice system with no accountability or transparency….”

After reading the following can anyone honestly say that arbitration is good and constitutional for CID members !!

Anonymous said...

> This recent Supreme Court ruling is a
> classic example of ‘legislating from the bench.”

If there's one thing that conservatives and libertarians hate more than "legislating from the bench" (aka "activist judges"), it's consumer protection laws.

Those who claim to believe in the Constitution are celebrating this latest nail in the coffin of the Bill of Rights, because the 7th Amendment is inconvenient for corporations.

related posts:
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Supreme Court Arbitration Ruling: Courts for the Wealthy and Wall Street
Thursday, December 22, 2011
The Fine Print Society

Anonymous said...

Alan S. Kaplinsky, a partner at Ballard Spahr, who calls himself “the pioneer of class-action waivers” and "represents the nation’s largest banks and defends financial institutions that have been sued by consumers," claims that class-action waivers benefit consumers.

Ted Frank, one of the editors of, says that
An 8-1 decision correctly enforces the default freedom of contract to arbitrate in a credit-card agreement in the absence of statutory language eliminating it, but look forward to litigation lobby supporters calling it an example of pro-business bias (notwithstanding the overwhelming bipartisan support for the decision) rather than an example of the Supreme Court correcting the Ninth Circuit's anti-business bias.

( Kaplinksy and Frank via “Arbitration Is Here to Stay and One Lawyer Says That Is Good for Consumers” [Alan Kaplinsky interview, Mickey Meese/Forbes, PoL] )

Now that they are free of the specter of frivolous and costly lawsuits, the credit card companies will be laying off legions of their no-longer-needed corporate lawyers, and passing on the costs savings to consumers in the form of lower prices for their services.

At least, that's the theory. But don't expect the right-wing proponents of mandatory arbitration and tort-reform to revise their theories when these cost savings don't materialize. Their concern for consumers is as sincere as Al Gore's concern for the environment.

Although describes itself as "Chronicling the high cost of our legal system", they -- like John Stossel -- have given home-stealing HOA lawyers a free pass. In their conservative and libertarian world view, individuals' litigating against corporations is so harmful to society tha the 7th Amendment must be outlawed, but corporations (such as HOAs) litigating against individuals is righteous justice in action.

It is, as Mike Konzcal observed
There’s almost a Nietzschean zeal for the wonk world to first and foremost accept creditors as a master class to whom all policy bends.

( quoted at Saturday, November 05, 2011 "A Creditor’s Playland, or: Cato on Housing Crisis Policy" )

Anonymous said...

Usurers rejoice at another recent Supreme Court ruling:,27077
Supreme Court Overturns 'Right v. Wrong'
January 18, 2012

WASHINGTON—Striking down the judicial precedent that established the legal supremacy of right over wrong more than two centuries ago, the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday overturned Right v. Wrong.

The landmark reversal—a bitterly contested 5-4 decision that has been widely praised by murderers, rapists, bigots, usurers, and pro-wrong advocates nationwide—nullifies all previously lawful forms of right and makes it very difficult for Americans to make ethical decisions or be generally decent human beings without facing criminal charges.

"It is the opinion of this court that the Constitution was crafted in such a manner as to uphold and encourage practices that are not right and, ideally, are very wrong," Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the majority, which also in­cluded Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito, Anthony Kennedy, and John Roberts. "Despite the compelling case for goodness, truth, and justice made by our predecessors in the case of Right v. Wrong, we firmly believe that malice, dishonesty, and injustice were the framers' original intent."

"The ruling today rights an age-old wrong in which right has consistently, and unconstitutionally, prevailed," Justice Alito wrote in a concurring opinion, adding that the decision between right and wrong did not present a difficult choice for him. "It is clear the earlier court erred when issuing the Right decision."