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Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its ruling in Rent-A-Center v. Jackson to a near-deafening silence. The case generated very little media coverage, drowned out by continuing coverage of the oil spill and coverage of other rulings by the Court and limited, perhaps, by the density of Justice Scalia’s majority opinion, which seems designed to make the case appear complicated, technical and narrow. But Rent-A-Center is extremely important, and its holding will likely affect thousands of Americans, another ruling in a long campaign by corporations to supplant judicial review with arbitration. This post explains why Rent-a-Center matters.
Today, in an important victory for those who care about government’s ability to protect the environment, (including Constitutional Accountability Center, which filed a brief in the case) the Supreme Court unanimously rejected an absurd takings claim by a handful of Florida property owners who objected to a beach restoration project on Florida’s Gulf Coast that not only restored eroded beaches, but also enhanced property values (something most property owners, unsurprisingly, supported).
Co-authored by Elizabeth Wydra, Chief Counsel of Constitutional Accountability Center, and Jack Hatch, who represents Central Des Moines in Iowa’s Senate and chairs the Health & Human Services Budget Subcommittee. Jack is also a member of Progressive States Network’s State Legislators for Progressive Health Reform.
by Doug Kendall, President & Founder, and Hannah McCrea, Online Communications Director, Constitutional Accountability Center
by Xan White, Research & Special Projects Associate, Constitutional Accountability Center
Last Friday, CAC filed an amicus curiae brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Farrakhan v. Gregoire, arguing that the text and history of the Fifteenth Amendment give Congress broad power to proscribe racial discrimination in voting, including felon disenfranchisement laws that operate in tandem with racial discrimination in the criminal justice system to discriminatorily deny the vote to African Americans.
Kentucky Senate candidate Rand Paul created a firestorm recently by stating that he opposed the portions of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibit racial discrimination by private businesses providing public accommodations. The outrage following his comments quickly forced Paul to backtrack at least somewhat, though he has still not said, unequivocally, that he supports federal laws banning discrimination by privately-owned establishments and believes these laws are constitutional. This lingering dispute compels this post to set the record straight.
By Judith E. Schaeffer, Vice President, and Courtney Hostetler, Summer Intern