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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:07 AM
Original message
Too big to sue
That is essentially what the Supreme Court's Wal-Mart ruling means.

Class action lawsuits have traditionally been the vehicle for individuals to seek justice from large corporations. It allowed these individuals to pool their resources in order to achieve the same level of justice as the corporation. This was the method that was used to counteract a corporations lawsuit warchest, with which they could buy their way out of a lawsuit with an army of lawyers and endless appeals. The class action lawsuit leveled the playing field.

But the ruling yesterday means that many corporations are too big to sue. Since large groups of people are now not allowed to pool their resources due to the vague "glue rule" put out there by Scalia, the only avenue left for suing these corporations are via small groups or individuals. And of course, when going up against small groups or individuals, a large corporation has all the advantages that money can buy.

Many lawyers are simply not going to take such cases anymore, advising their client that they can't win. Thus, justice will be denied, again and again. Congress and the White House could work to change this setback for Americans, through either legislation or a Constitutional Amendment, but somehow I doubt they will. After all, they don't want to displease their corporate masters, especially after last year's Citizens United ruling(and wait, didn't Obama make some vague promise about doing something about that atrocity :eyes:)

We no longer live under the rule of law, but rather, under the rule of corporations.
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KansDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:13 AM
Response to Original message
1. "Too Big to Fail," "Too Big to Jail," now "Too Big to Sue"
Think maybe it's time to downsize these mega-corporations?
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:19 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. I'd love to do that, but how?
Seriously, our corporately controlled government has made it perfectly clear that they're not going to touch them. The SC isn't going to touch them.

So what avenue is left?
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #2
7. Changes In Tax Laws
You beat money with money. This is all a pipe dream as I don't see any political will anywhere in the system for serious reform...but you'd institute higher taxes on large corporations over smaller ones. Give tax incentives to smaller entities and watch the corporates divest into smaller units. Unfortunately this just reshuffles the deck and really doesn't address the injustices. Only a stronger union movement with widespread popular support can bring that about.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:49 AM
Response to Reply #7
11. Again, do you honestly expect our corporately controlled government to
Actually make such a change? I don't.

A stronger union movement would be a good thing, and it would have to take over government in order to be effective. But the unions have been dying for decades now, and corporations and our media are busy putting the final nails in their coffins as we speak.

Frankly I think that the only option left is what the French resorted to in 1789.
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #11
15. I Wish There Was An Answer...
I prefer to look for solutions not problems but in this case our system is so endemically corrupt on so many levels that wholecale change is all but impossible. Coordinating those on this side of the sandbox is like hurding cats as while we believe in many of the same core issues and values, the priorities come into conflict. As you note, the union movement has been dying due to its own complacency and internal politics. Maybe the busting going on in the Midwest along with tough times may swing the pendulum in the other direction but we have a long way to go to return to the union strength and influence of 40 years ago and against a multinational corporate monster that only recognizes profits...not borders or "national interests".

Then there's the malaise (not the DUer...LOL) of so many Americans who either tune out or prefer to let the other think for them. A revolution's a great idea but please don't let it interfere with watching American Idol or my comfort zone. Remember that to get to the point of 1789 there were years of starvation and suffering...and then in the end the "people" were trumped by the military. Not sure I'd like that outcome.

Call me a Pollyana, but I do think change can come but it will need to start on the grassroots (and in some cases it already has) but must be more focused and consistant. We can't have progressives sit at home or go third party and expect to advance common causes. There needs to be far more coordination and communications among people and party...involvement inside the process rather than from the outside.

Cheers...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
3. Recommend
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myrna minx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:25 AM
Response to Original message
4. K&R n/t
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KharmaTrain Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:28 AM
Response to Original message
5. Been That Way For A While...
The corporates long ago jobbed the system. Try suing and see. You'll face an army of lawyers with every trick in the book to delay and bleed you dry of money and patience. The SCOTUS just shortened the process yesterday. Codified it as well.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:30 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. I agree,
But they just took away the last weapon we had, the class action lawsuit.
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MrNJ Donating Member (53 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:42 AM
Response to Reply #6
8. It's not over yet
The plaintiffs will regroup, form a few smaller classes to qualify under FRCP and they will win!
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:45 AM
Response to Reply #8
9. I'm glad you're optimistic, I'm not
Smaller groups means fewer resources, going up against the Deathstar and its battalions of lawyers. David v. Goliath works well in fiction, but in reality David gets pounded into dust.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:48 AM
Response to Original message
10. I think you have it backward...the lawsuit was too big to proceed.
It wasn't Wal Mart that was deemed "too big," it was the vast, all-encompassing lawsuit. You must ask yourself, why did the usually left-leaning justices also go along with this ruling? The ruling was based upon an opinion of over-reach. If you want to file a class action, stick to your facts, make your case, but don't also bring in every grievance by every person in the world, and that, as I understand it, is what had happened to this class action. The lawyers signed up so many people and took on so many issues that the case had simply become an unmanageable cluster f*ck. This isn't to defend Wal Mart, I'm only trying to point out that when four dependably-left justices side with the other side, you're probably reading the case wrong, not them.

.
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MadHound Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:52 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. First of all, I find the notion that we have four "dependably-left" justices laughable
On social issues, that is quite possible, but when it comes to issues of money and corporations, the SC has been, and always will be in the corner of Corporate America.

As far as too many issues, sorry, but again no. The single overarching issue was that of discrimination in the workplace by Walmart. The stories varied, and the cases involved different players, but the overarching issue of discrimination was the glue that Scalia and the rest refused to recognize.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #12
16. You are incorrect. You need to read up on the ruling.
The "single overarching issue" was actually many issues and involved many stores in many states that did absolutely nothing wrong and had no complaints filed against them. All the court said was that the case had to show specific harm to specific people, not just lumping in every complaint and claiming the home office was responsible.

Your comments about the SCOTUS "always" being in the corner of Corporate America is what is laughable. It currently has a 5-4 majority of pure corporatists. Elections and time can change that, and it hasn't always been that way.
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 09:57 AM
Response to Original message
13. What the ruling means is that you can't sue the government
Now that the corporations are the government, we won't be able to sue them.
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:12 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. Wrong.
:eyes:

Is there a "knee jerk" smiley?
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nichomachus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. Wrong
And since you didn't give any reasons to support your statement, I guess neither do I
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Atman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. I suppose the facts don't matter.
Edited on Tue Jun-21-11 10:37 AM by Atman
"WASHINGTON (Reuters) The Supreme Court threw out on Monday a massive class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc, the biggest ever such case, in a major victory for the world's largest retailer and for big business in general.
The justices unanimously ruled that more than 1 million female employees nationwide could not proceed together in the lawsuit seeking billions of dollars and accusing Wal-Mart of paying women less and giving them fewer promotions.
The Supreme Court agreed with Wal-Mart, the largest private U.S. employer, that the class-action certification violated federal rules for such lawsuits.
It accepted Wal-Mart's argument that the female employees in different jobs at 3,400 different stores nationwide and with different supervisors do not have enough in common to be lumped together in a single class-action lawsuit."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110620/us_nm/us_walmart_la...

======

There were two separate parts of the case. They ruled unanimously on the main issue of whether the case could proceed.
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truebrit71 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:02 AM
Response to Original message
14. I am just so glad that the conservative justices aren't making laws but following them instead...
Edited on Tue Jun-21-11 10:03 AM by truebrit71
...you know, they're not being 'activist judges' or anything like that.... :sarcasm:

Only a few more steps now and the game will be over...Corporations are people, that are now too big to sue, and because they own all of the politicians, they will be free to do as they please..Minimum wage? Fuck it. Unions? Fuck 'em. Health benefits? Who are you fucking kidding?

The only real question remaining is how many will be able to get out before the borders close.

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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-21-11 10:54 AM
Response to Original message
20. Checkout this DU thread for some reasoned analysis
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