Kia Franklin

6 out of 9 Supreme Court Justices are over 65… so why do they rule against Seniors so often?

Six of the Supreme Court justices are over age 65. So why does the Court keep issuing out pro-business ruling after pro-business ruling that not only rolls back the rights of Seniors, but is also just plain bad law? I guess it's true--wisdom doesn't always come with age.

Ah well. At least you should check out Harper Tobin's piece, Senior Rights and Wrongs, in the Nation. It's a really smart piece that outlines a few key anti-Senior decisions. Tobin argues that: "the common thread connecting [the rulings] is lack of attention to the goals of Congress and the real problems facing older Americans."

Among those issues Tobin highlights is that of binding mandatory arbitration in contracts with nursing homes. Tobin also cites back to the story of David Kurth, which I blogged about here. Tobin advocates for the proposed legislative fix to this abusive practice of including pre-dispute, binding, mandatory arbitration clauses in the fine print of nursing home contracts, so that nursing homes can avoid the courts when staff sexually or otherwise assault residents, or neglect them until they get very ill or even die.

I don't mind hammering this point in--advocacy pieces like this are critical to countering all the gibberish about arbitration being good for consumers, cheap for consumers, or about consumer choice. Read it! And then pick a civil justice issue and blog about it or write an op ed! (Here's more on that)

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Posted at 4:37 PM, Oct 21, 2008 in Arbitration | Civil Justice
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The problem, Kia, is that you expect judges to make law rather than interpret and apply law. When judges make law or try to mandate specific activities they are usurping the function of the legislature.

Even the most lunatic liberal judges should be upholding arbitration provisions in contracts - it is the function of the legislatures to change this - if they so wish. You consistantly mistake upholding the law for taking sides

Posted by: Avenger | October 21, 2008 11:02 PM

You're wrong. I expect judges to made decisions based on an understanding of what the law really is, which requires an appreciation of what Congress intended when it passed a partic law. The FAA's purpose and scope has been manipulated and stretched and mangled so much that it's function today is nothing close to what it was intended to be when Congress passed it. It is now just a tool to exploit consumers.

And anyway, sometimes judges don't even have the opportunity to decide arbitrability. Arbitrators do the deciding. It's a whacked out system of absolutely ZERO value to the average person, but it sure saves a lot of money for big corporations. Funny that they don't use it in disputes with other big corporations, though. Only with the little guy. Hmm... what's that smell? An unconscionable contract? Yeah, that's it.

Posted by: Kia | October 22, 2008 10:50 AM