Wednesday, April 27, 2011
The Supreme Court issued its decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion today. The Court divided 5-4, with Justice Scalia writing the majority opinion (joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Kennedy, Thomas, and Alito) and Justice Breyer writing the dissent (joined by Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan). Justice Thomas also writes a concurring opinion.
As covered earlier here, the case involved the application of California’s so-called Discovery Bank rule, which allows consumers to challenge as unconscionable contractual waivers of the right to arbitrate disputes on a class-wide basis. Justice Scalia’s majority opinion concludes:
Because it “stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of the full purposes and objectives of Congress,” Hines v. Davidowitz, 312 U. S. 52, 67 (1941), California’s Discover Bank rule is preempted by the FAA. The judgment of the Ninth Circuit is reversed, and the case is remanded for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.