Prof. Gilman: How the high court fosters economic inequality

Gilman for web

Venable Professor of Law Michele Gilman contributed an article, “How the Supreme Court made economic inequality a whole lot worse,” to The Conversation.

Gilman notes that voters are looking for someone to blame for the widening chasm between rich and poor in America: “Bernie Sanders blames Wall Street. Donald Trump points his finger at companies moving overseas. Hillary Clinton identifies middle-class families who are working harder but staying in place as the root cause.”

What many voters overlook, Gilman says, is the role of the Supreme Court in exacerbating economic inequality.

“As my research on economic inequality explains, since the late 1970s and more frequently over the past decade, the court has issued a series of rulings that have benefited businesses and the wealthy at the expense of the working class and the groups that support them. This has, arguably, made it a court for the one percent.”

In particular, Gilman pointed to a study coauthored by conservative federal appeals Judge Richard Posner that showed the Roberts court was the most pro-business court since World War II.

Concluded Gilman: “I believe we currently have a court for the one percent. The next justice will hold the deciding vote in making it a court for all.”

The Conversation is a news website that provides articles and opinion pieces from members of the academic and research communities directly to the public.

Learn more about Professor Gilman.

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