07.15.08

Senate Judiciary Committee To Examine Supreme Court Decisions On Corporate Misconduct

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) today announced a Committee hearing scheduled for July 23 to look at how recent decisions by the Supreme Court have shielded corporations engaged in misconduct.  The hearing follows an examination by the Senate panel last month of how the Supreme Court’s recently concluded term favored big business over protecting the rights of individuals relating to health care, retirement, financial services and employment issues.

Recent Supreme Court decisions, including last month’s decision in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker, have highlighted a shift on the Court shielding corporations from accountability for their actions.  Such decisions have hindered the rights of Americans to receive damages for harm done at the hands of large corporations.  The decisions have not only allowed some corporations to evade justice but have provided pro-business shields to some of the nation’s largest corporations, thereby stripping meaningful incentives for good business practices in all corporations. 

In June, the Judiciary panel examined recent Supreme Court decisions that have preempted several state laws established to protect Americans, including laws to shield Americans from illegal hiring practices, medical liability, and predatory lending practices.  The July 23 hearing is expected to feature a witness who will testify about the lasting effects of the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off the coast of Alaska on the livelihoods of hundreds of fishermen and sailors, as well as witnesses who will testify about how the January Supreme Court ruling in Stoneridge Investment Partners, LLC v. Scientific-Atlanta, Inc. impacts senior citizens, and the widespread effects of Supreme Court rulings in the area of binding mandatory arbitration.

The hearing, “Courting Big Business:  The Supreme Court’s Recent Decisions on Corporate Misconduct and Laws Regulating Corporations,” will be held Wednesday, July 23, at 10:00 a.m. in room 226 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.  The hearing will be webcast live online.

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July 15, 2008

NOTICE OF COMMITTEE HEARING

The Senate Committee on the Judiciary has scheduled a hearing on “Courting Big Business: The Supreme Court’s Recent Decisions on Corporate Misconduct and Laws Regulating Corporations” for Wednesday, July 23, 2008 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 226 of the Senate Dirksen Office Building.

By order of the Chairman 

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David Carle: 202-224-3693