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Log In / Register | Aug 20, 2018

ATT v Concepcion, Post Coverage

Because I don't have a crystal ball, I'll leave to others the task of making predictions based on yesterday's oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court in AT&T v. Concepcion.  (By the way, here's some of the latest scholarship on such prediction-making.)

If you want to play along at home, you can read the transcript and come up with your own vote prediction, or sample some of the press coverage:

  • Crystal_ball"Overall," according to SCOTUSblog, "post-argument predictions about the case’s outcome tilt toward a victory by  respondents Vincent and Liza Concepcion, but not everyone was willing to make predictions based on the argument." 
  • "Recent Supreme Court decisions have generally favored the enforcement of arbitration agreements and have been wary of aspects of class-action litigations. But it was hardly clear at Tuesday’s arguments that those two trends would continue in the latest case." Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Weighs Class-Action Suits, New York Times
  • "A victory for consumers and class action litigators seemed possible on Tuesday as the Supreme Court heard arguments in a high-stakes dispute over clauses that block class actions as a way of resolving contract disputes." Tony Mauro, Class actions on the ropes? Not likely, National Law Journal:
  • "The Supreme Court seemed disinclined to let companies use legal fine print to block class actions, with several justices suggesting they might defer to state courts that ruled in favor of consumers." Jess Bravin, Justices Question Contracts That Block Class Actions, Wall Street Journal
  • "AT&T's odds are mixed: ... Justices Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia are sympathetic to these cases due to their states' rights ideology. But no one will be surprised if AT&T and its big business backers prevail." Stephanie Mencimer, Consumer Protection's Citizens United, Mother Jones
  • "In sum, I think Respondents have to be pleased with how the argument went.  A significant number of Justices seemed to recognize that some arbitration provisions are unconscionable, and that second-guessing lower courts’ unconscionability rulings can raise some difficult federalism and administrative issues." Jean Sternlight, ADR Prof Blog
  • "While Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito appeared this morning to join Mr. Pincus in trying to come up with support for preemption in this case, it appears that they may come up a few votes short (with the usual caveat that it is always a risky business to predict how the Court will rule based on oral argument)." Elizabeth Wydra, ACSblog.

For you ultrawonks out there, here's even more coverage:

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About Deepak Gupta

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Deepak Gupta is a staff attorney at Public Citizen Litigation Group in Washington, DC, where his practice focuses on consumer and constitutional litigation.