A Corporate Court – The New York Times

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Good morning. China’s economy is rebounding. The Dodgers reach the World Series. And the Supreme Court may be about to get even friendlier to corporations.

It was a preview of just how aggressive a Supreme Court with Barrett may be.

A struggle for power: Much of the discussion about Barrett’s nomination has focused on social issues, like abortion, guns and same-sex marriage. They’re all important, obviously. But they are not the issues that animate many activists and wealthy campaign donors who have spent decades pushing for a conservative overhaul of the courts.

To these activists — the most famous being the Koch family — the overriding goal is reducing corporate regulations and taxes. As Charles Koch said in one speech, he wants to stop “confiscatory taxation,” “safety and health regulations,” “trade barriers,” “so-called equal opportunity requirements” and “many more interventions.”

Koch gave that speech in 1974, and in the almost five decades since, the conservative judicial project has made a lot of progress. The Supreme Court and lower courts have made it harder for labor unions to organize, harder for consumers and workers to fight corporate fraud and easier for wealthy Americans to give millions of dollars in campaign donations, often secretly.

These rulings are one reason that the incomes of the very rich have risen so much faster in recent decades than incomes of the middle class and poor. “For the past half-century, the Court has been drawing up plans for a more economically unequal nation,” Adam Cohen, a former member of the Times editorial board, wrote in his recent book, “Supreme Inequality.”

Barrett’s answers suggest she may make the court even friendlier to big companies. She would be the sixth Republican-appointed justice, which means one of them could defect and the court could still rule against regulation or taxation.

“It’s a trend that was happening anyway, and this may have accelerated it,” he explains. We will have a better idea starting next month, when network series begin airing new shows again and when the sports calendar becomes more normal. “This is the real unknown: How much our viewing habits have forever changed because of the pandemic,” John says.

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