Recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on class actions, arbitration and securities litigation will come under Senate scrutiny next week during a hearing called by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.)
Leahy has made clear on several occasions that he is unhappy with the Court’s rulings, particularly in cases pitting consumers against corporations.
The hearing, scheduled for June 29, will examine how three decisions “will impact Americans’ access to justice and affect corporate behavior,” according to the hearing announcement.
The three decisions—all of which were victories for the companies sued—are: Wal-Mart v. Dukes, Janus Capital Group, Inc. v. First Derivative Traders, and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion. Previous hearings have analyzed the justices’ rulings in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire, a gender discrimination case; Gross v. FBL Financial Services, an age discrimination case; and Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, a campaign finance case.
Scheduled to testify at the hearing is Betty Dukes, the lead plaintiff in Wal-Mart v. Dukes, a class-action, gender discrimination lawsuit filed on behalf of 1.5 million female Wal-Mart employees in which the court decided that that Wal-Mart’s female employees did not have enough in common to pursue their national class action. Also testifying at the hearing will be employment discrimination scholar Prof. Melissa Hart of the University of Colorado Law School, and Andrew Pincus, partner at Mayer Brown, who represented AT&T Mobility in that class action arbitration challenge.