So Far This Term, Top Corporate Lobby’s Win Rate Before The Supreme Court Is 6-1

Continuing a dramatic winning streak that has spanned the Roberts Court era, the Chamber of Commerce has won six of its seven Supreme Court cases decided thus far this term. In all, it filed amicus briefs in 18 cases this term, making the top corporate lobby a preeminent Supreme Court influencer. The Chamber also files numerous petitions at at the earlier stage when the Supreme Court is deciding which decisions to hear, shaping its docket such that the Chamber is poised to have participated in 24 percent of the Court’s decided cases this term, according to a new report from the Constitutional Accountability Center:

Over the past thirty years, the Chamber’s participation rate has increased six-fold, from 4% in the early 1980s to 24% today.

This dramatic increase in participation is a reflection, in part, of the Chamber’s success in shaping the Court’s docket. As SCOTUSblog reported in early April, the Chamber remains “the country’s preeminent petition-pusher,” as it filed the greatest number of amicus briefs at the cert. stage of any private organization during SCOTUSblog’s three-year study period (running from May 2009 to August 2012). Importantly, the Chamber also has the highest success rate of any of the ten most active organizations during this period – with the Court granting 32% of the Chamber’s cases overall. Therefore, the Chamber is not just participating in cases that the Court decides to hear, but it’s also aggressively and successfully working to shape the Court’s docket.

The Chamber’s win rate has also increased dramatically in the Roberts Court, illustrated in the chart below:

Among the Chamber’s wins thus far this term were two 5-4 decisions that eroded the class mechanisms for holding corporations accountable, and the major ruling on the Alien Tort Statute that slashed accountability in U.S. courts for human rights abuses abroad.