Study Documents Chamber of Commerce Takeover Of Supreme Court

A new study by the progressive Constitutional Accountability Center compares how the Chamber of Commerce fared before the Supreme Court in the early 1980s (the last time that none of the Court’s present members were justices) to their record before the Roberts Court — and the results are quite stark. While the Court’s moderates are about as likely to favor the powerful corporate lobby’s position as conservative Justice William Rehnquist was in the early 1980s, the conservative majority is now significantly more likely to favor corporate interests than the most pro-corporate member of the Court twenty-five years ago (the study did not include the Court’s two newest members because of an insufficiently large data sample):

These numbers are particularly striking in light of the fact that Justice Lewis Powell, the most pro-corporate member of the Burger Court, drafted an influential memo for the Chamber laying out a blueprint for the Chamber to influence American politics and judicial decisions. Powell may be the visionary behind the Chamber’s takeover of the Courts, but the Court’s present majority embraces this takeover far more than even Powell believed acceptable. To read more about the study documenting the corporate takeover of the Supreme Court, visit the Wonk Room.