U.S. Supreme Court watchers have opined that its tilt toward business interests is unmistakable. Writing for The New York Times, Adam Liptak cites the Minnesota Law Review article summarized elsewhere in this Report as compelling evidence that “the Roberts court is unusually friendly to business.” Liptak also quotes University of California, Irvine, Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, who said, “The Roberts court is the most pro-business court since the mid-1930s. I think this helps understand it far more than traditional liberal and conservative labels.” Examining amicus briefs supporting petitions seeking U.S. Supreme Court review during a three-year period, a Justice Department lawyer reportedly found that “pro-business and anti-regulatory groups accounted for more than three-quarters of the top 16 filers. ‘My data indicate that, as the court shapes its docket, it hears conservative voices far more often than liberal ones, and the disparity is growing.’”
Writing for the Constitutional Accountability Center, Founder Doug Kendall and Counsel Tom Donnelly underscored the latter point in the Center’s annual assessment of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s overall success before the high court. According to their May 1 article, “Not so Risky Business: The Chamber of Commerce’s Quiet Success Before the Roberts Court—An Early Report for 2012-2013,” during the past 30 years, “the Chamber’s participation rate has increased six-fold, from 4% in the early 1980s to 24% today. This dramatic increase in participation is a reflection, in part, of the Chamber’s success in shaping the Court’s docket.” Apparently, “since John Roberts took over as Chief Justice and Justice Samuel Alito succeeded Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the Chamber has prevailed in 69% of its cases overall (66 of 95 cases from 2006-2013).” The article also explores key probusiness decisions from this term and notes that several disputes involving business interests are still pending. See The New York Times, May 4, 2013.