The Constitutional Accountability Center recently released the fifth installment of its year-long series, “Roberts at 10,” in which Brianne Gorod details the ways Chief Justice John Roberts’ voting record has undermined the public’s access to the courts. She points out that Roberts has consistently taken positions limiting the scope of the standing doctrine, heightening pleading requirements, restricting exceptions to state sovereign immunity and expanding arbitration. In fact, as Gorod notes, the Chief Justice has sided with the majority in every significant decision bolstering mandatory arbitration agreements, while every case expanding access to the courts has received his emphatic dissent.
This restricted access to the courts, and in particular the expansion of arbitration as a mandatory alternative dispute remedy, has had far-reaching negative consequences for consumers and workers. Governed by the Federal Arbitration Act, written arbitration agreements have become a ubiquitous, lurking menace, surfacing to harm consumers again and again and again.