While this story may have been buried over the countless headlines on Barry's birth certificates as well as Donald Trump's smug reaction to it. Oh yeah, and if that wasn't enough the stupid Royal Wedding that has no effect on local issues.
But yeah, yesterday the supreme court basically bent your consumer rights over and fucked them hard.
I will never lose faith in American innovation in the field of finding a new and exciting way to be truly awful in every possible way imaginable.
WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court gave corporations a major win Wednesday, ruling in a 5-4 decision that companies can block their disgruntled customers from joining together in a class-action lawsuit. The ruling arose from a California lawsuit involving cellphones, but it will have a nationwide impact.
In the past, consumers who bought a product or a service had been free to join a class-action lawsuit if they were dissatisfied or felt they had been cheated. By combining these small claims, they could bring a major lawsuit against a corporation.
But in Wednesday's decision, the high court said that under the Federal Arbitration Act companies can force these disgruntled customers to arbitrate their complaints individually, not as part of a group. Consumer-rights advocates said this rule would spell the end for small claims involving products or services.
In the case before the court, a Southern California couple complained about a $30 charge involving their purchase of cellphone service from AT&T Mobility. The California courts said they were entitled to join with others in bringing a class-action claim against the cellphone company.
But the Supreme Court reversed that decision Wednesday in AT&T Mobility vs. Concepcion. Justice Antonin Scalia said companies may require buyers to sign arbitration agreements, and those agreements may preclude class-action claims. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. formed the majority.
Scalia said companies like arbitration because it is efficient and less costly. "Arbitration is poorly suited to the higher stakes of class litigation," he said.
But the dissenters said a practical ban on class action would be unfair to cheated consumers. Justice Stephen G. Breyer said the California courts had insisted on permitting class-action claims, despite arbitration clauses that forbade them. Otherwise, he said, it would allow a company to "insulate" itself "from liability for its own frauds by deliberately cheating large numbers of consumers out of individually small sums of money."
Breyer added that a ban on class actions would prevent lawyers from representing clients for small claims. "What rational lawyer would have signed on to represent the Concepcions in litigation for the possibility of fees stemming from a $30.22 claim?" he wrote. Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined his dissent.
The court itself divided along partisan lines. All five Republican appointes formed the majority, and four Democratic appointees dissented.
Still pending before the court is a major dispute over class-action suits involving job discrimination. Lawyers for Wal-Mart have asked the justices to throw out a sex-discrimination claim brought on behalf of 1.5 million current and past female employees.
All I have to say is GOOD! Now the only method of recourse for customers is to unleash countless amounts of violence upon these corporations.
What the fuck happened to this once great country? Or has it always carried this smell of awful corruption and I just didn't notice it? I guess it was that. I didn't really realize it with the whole "All men are created equal.... except for you darkies over there. "
It's pretty clear that we will never break the corporate stranglehold and when it does break itself, it will break all of us with it.
At this point it's not even worth fixing. Let's just run this shit into the mother fucking ground. There's no point complaining that the car is going too fast. We can't simply decelerate a little to catch our breath. No no, we're so close, no time for pussy footing around the issue. We need to slam our foot down on the gas pedal and just keep accelerating this mother fucker till we hit that break wall in all its glory.
Take a moment and notice how the picture accompanying the article prominently depicts the "Equal Justice Under Law" slogan on the supreme court building, as a sort of way to just rub it in.
So what can you expect to come out of this ruling? Well, you can expect to see yourself screwed over in very small amounts by every company you interact with. Oh, you want to recoup that bogus $4 fee? Guess you'll have to hire an attorney for that.. HA!
What the fuck was the supreme court thinking? Gee, I wonder what does the companies like? Let's give that to them then. Case closed! Did Scalia say anything else besides "Companies like arbitration, soooo...." like it explains everything about this situation. Is there any requirement that he pretend anymore?
Just wait till you're signing that otherwise vague contract when you're buying a car. Only to later have that gas tank explode on you or your children die because of defective seat belts. Better hope your attorney general brings up criminal charges because otherwise nothing is going to happen cause hey, you signed the contract already.
But hey, it's a good thing that product recalls are at an all time low now, right! right? RIGHT?! Fuuc... But hey, maybe this means that corporations will pass on their savings from class-action lawsuits to me, the consumer.... double fuck!
I mean, what's the point of a class-action lawsuits if not for precisely these reasons. But nope, gotta do what's best for the companies. Fuck the public.
I mean, I guess consumer protection is a fucking joke as it is to begin with, so this isn't like we have much to lose here on the grand scheme of things, but class action lawsuits were one of our last layers of defense against big corporations from completely fucking us over.
I do wonder if this includes cases where people are irrevocably harmed by a companies product or practices. Like if the events of PG&E vs Erin Brockovich happened today, would have they just told her to fuck off? Each person now has to hire a lawyer and prove their damages individually. Essentially making it impossible to get anything done. Especially if it goes to aberration, which typically favors the corporations 90% of the time.
And if you think they could just all hire the same lawyer and have him argue each case, it's still court fees for each application filed. So hey, it's a win-win for the courts! Though this wont work for the nickle and dime type of class action suits because it makes little sense to pay a lawyer for 15 minutes of work for your $30 claim.
I can't wait for them to claim that people can't sue corporations. That you would need to sue individual people on an individual basis. Only you can't because they're a corporation! So the only way to sue a company will be to incorporate yourself. Which brings me to my next point...
Who wants to join me and incorporate ourselves?
Now companies have no reason NOT to nickle and dime the public. Well, maybe except in the instances where they face public relations consequences. I mean, you could try and look at your bills real closely now, but then again, you probably won't have to check it closely at all. Now when they charge you an extra dollar for some stupid fee, there's nothing you can do about it. So you shouldn't bother checking and just assume it's already happening. You're never going to get any of that money back. So I just suggest you just don't look so you can have some bliss in the ignorance that they're stealing from you. Thanks again, Scotus!
Then there's the sad reminder that the most liberal politician America can manage to elect is Dennis Kucinich and he makes Eisenhower look like angels.
The worse thing is that it hasn't even been a full day and already you see this rulings handy work in action. Just check out the Uverse from AT&T where the changes are in red.
NOTE: YOUR CONTINUED USE OF YOUR U-VERSE SERVICES AFTER 5/1/11 CONSTITUTES ACCEPTANCE OF ALL CHANGES IN THE UPDATED TERMS.Ha ha ha ha, oh man, if I didn't laugh, I would probably be crying because of all this. They didn't even waste a second to get on with the ass raping of your wallet.
PLEASE READ THIS AGREEMENT CAREFULLY TO ENSURE THAT YOU UNDERSTAND EACH PROVISION. THIS AGREEMENT REQUIRES THE USE OF ARBITRATION ON AN INDIVIDUAL BASIS TO RESOLVE DISPUTES, RATHER THAN JURY TRIALS OR CLASS ACTIONS, AND ALSO LIMITS THE REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO YOU IN THE EVENT OF A DISPUTE.You would think that they'd wait a week to be a little less transparent about it. Or hey, to at least not be complete dicks about it. The irony of all this is that there was an episode of South Park last night where the premise was about people not reading the fine print to what they agree with in those tiny worded user fine print agreements.
The sad thing is that this decision really was overlooked because of the Obama birth certificate thing. Though I'm sure Jon Stewart will make a funny face about it, but that's pretty much where the general public's concern for it will end.
I'm pretty sure that in 100 years some CIA file will be declassified proving that the supreme court judges were in the service of the chamber of commerce or something. It's the only way any of this could possibly make any sense to anyone.
This really does make me want to look into having duo citizenship. Because leaving America sounds like a pretty sweet deal right about now. For what it's worth, when people say "get out while you still can" what they mean is to commit suicide while you can still legally buy a gun.
Because for as much as those NRA members huff and puff about gun ownership rights, you know that's not going to last.
Well, I guess it looks like I'm taking all my class action cases against big business to Judge Judy. She's tough, but unlike the scotus, she'll be fair.