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June 07, 2002

Judicial Power Runs Wild

With the Supreme Court running wild in the streets of judicial defiance of democracy, why shouldn't the lower courts get in on the fun of overturning laws to protect corporate interests? See the Times' Court Voids Law Barring Con Ed Fee which highlights a federal appeals court decision that struck down a New York State law that barred Consolidated Edison from charging customers about $200 million for expenses related to an 11-month shutdown of its Indian Point nuclear power plant. See full decision as well.
...The case invokes the prohibition on "Bills of Attainder" -- naming a person in a law -- to shield Con Ed from legislation that prevented it from profiting from its fuckups. Of course, the law named Con Ed-- it's a regulated utility with a frigging monopoly. This is the reductio ad absurdum of treating corporations as "persons" under constitutional law, an earlier act of judicial authoritarianism from the 19th century.

Posted by Nathan at June 7, 2002 02:32 AM


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