Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Arbitration and the Supremes

"The Supreme Court ruled that labor unions can surrender their members' right to sue over employment discimination, the latest in a line of decisions giving broad sweep to agreements providing for arbitration. ... Both decisions follwed the court's conservative-liberal split, with conservatives in the majority, showing how the presumptions judges bring to the bench affect their reading of laws as differnt as the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Clean Water Act. ... The Second US Circuit Court of Appeals in New York ruled that the workers were entitled to a trial, saying unions couldn't bargain away the power of individual members to sue over statutory rights. ... Writing for the majority, Justice Clarence Thomas rejected 'misconceptions' of arbitration as an inferior form of justice. He said employees' substantive rights are the same whether pursued through a private arbitrator or a federal judge", my emphasis, Jess Bravin at the WSJ, 2 April 2009.

I agree with the Second Circuit. This is an appalling ruling. 790 federal district court judges should be up in arms over this. Can Thomas believe what he wrote?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder what in Judge Thomas' mind ensures that the arbitration process remains uncorrupted? What is it's check and balance?

It's a pretty theory that arbitration and the federal court system are equivalent... but...