Friday, May 13, 2011

Arbitration Should Only Be For Consenting Adults -- It is Long Past Time to Abolish Mandatory "Cramdown" Arbitration Clauses by Federal Law

Thank you, Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal, et al. – and No Thanks to Justice Antonin Scalia – regarding Cramdown Arbitration
Arbitration should be only among consenting adults.
Cramdown arbitration must not be forced on helpless consumers in “contracts of adhesion” when we buy phones, or stock, or computers, or apply for jobs.
Cramdown Arbitration is a “substantive evil” that the late Department of Labor Associate Judge James Guill warned about in a 1989 article in the American Bar Association Judges Journal (our article is called “A Rush to Unfairness – the Downside to Alternative Dispute Resolution”).
See the New York Times editorial, below.
What we warned about is coming to pass.
What we warned about, Congress needs to pass laws against.
Thank you, Senator Al Franken and the New York Times for shedding light on the problem
No thanks are due to Justice Scalia, whose cant opinion gets it wrong.
So much for “state’s rights.”
So much for “original intent.”
Justice Scalia reminds me of a fictional Supreme Court Justice who was once rightly blasted by a fictional White House counsel on “The West Wing,” saying he is “intolerant toward Gays, Lesbians, Blacks, unions, women, poor people and the First, Fourth, Sixth and Ninth Amendment.”
Justice Scalia is pretty good on the First Amendment, but the other criticisms ring true.
Our Founders enacted the Seventh Amendment right to jury trial, not anticipating that brigands would seek to erase it with “contracts of adhesion.” Justice William Rehnquist rightly said the Seventh Amendment was enacted as a “bulwark against oppression.”
That’s why Congress needs to abolish Cramdown Arbitration and outlaw the Seventh Amendment violating Cramdown Arbitration clauses, which empower the "oppression" that our Founders (and Justice Rehnquist, Judge Guill and me, Ed Slavin) all found so reprehensible?

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