Two landmark decisions of the nation’s top court were the result of corporate employer efforts who lobbied in favor of marriage equality and the Affordable Care Act out of either ideological or purely financial motives.
The Obamacare was purely business since health insurers had all the motives in the world to back President’s Obama’s signature legislative achievement. But 379 big businesses and interest groups signed an amicus brief weeks before the gay marriage ruling.
Apple, Google, American Express, Target, Amazon, American Airlines, Barnes & Noble, Direct TV, CBS Corp., eBay, Microsoft, Nike, the Office Depot, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Puma, Starbucks, Symantec Corp., Twitter, Visa, Verizon, The Walt Disney Company and Wells Fargo are some of the companies that backed marriage equality.
Wall Street’s Barclays, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Morgan Stanley joined in the petition. A full list of the petitioners is available on Huffington Post’s site.
In the Obamacare lawsuit, big insurers and trade groups backed the presidential health care reform. Additionally, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in the majority opinion that Obamacare was designed to “improve health insurance markets, not destroy them.”
On Friday, five justices ruled on a 5-4 vote that 13 state bans on gay marriage should be overturned, while the day before the court ruled on a 6 to 3 vote that Obamacare should be upheld.
The public perceived the two rulings as the result of an ideological battle between conservatives and liberals but this time liberal ideology overlapped with corporate interests. The Supreme Court has also a history of catering for corporate business interests since Chief Justice John Roberts was nominated.
“This Supreme Court is unquestionably responsive to the views of corporate America. Here, in both the healthcare and marriage cases, those views aligned with a progressive outcome,”
noted Doug Kendall, the head of the Constitutional Accountability Center.
But the corporate offensive may not stop here. A major ruling on environmental issues is expected on Monday, but if the theory that the U.S. top court leans to corporate interests is correct a more industry-friendly decision should occur.
On Thursday, the court also handed a big win to U.S. corporations by upholding a Fair Housing Act provision that allows discriminatory impact suits although there is no evidence of deliberate discrimination.
In about a dozen of 20 cases, the Supreme Court issued corporate-friendly rulings whenever the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed an amicus brief. But the Chamber only lobbies for corporate interests, it is not interested in social issues such as the ACA and marriage equality.
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