The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has played a leading role in many of the most notorious civil cases of recent years, according to a new report from Public Citizen’s U.S. Chamber Watch. Seemingly willing to support almost any corporate litigant, no matter how egregious its conduct, the Chamber uses its busy litigation practice to advance a reactionary agenda.
This evening, the U.S. Chamber’s Litigation Center will gather corporate interests for its 40th anniversary. At the core of the Chamber’s agenda is the notion that big corporations should be above the law. The Chamber litigates to:
The Chamber’s litigation consistently favors big businesses over small businesses, seems to support almost any action to increase corporate profits no matter the effect on workers, consumers or the environment, and opposes commonsense regulations that would correct market failures.
U.S. Chamber Watch analyzed approximately 500 cases over a roughly three-year period in which the U.S. Chamber Litigation Center – a Chamber affiliate – was either a plaintiff or an amicus. The cases cited below stand out as some of the most egregious examples of the U.S. Chamber’s devotion to pro-corporate influence and profits at any cost.
What’s more, Public Citizen’s review of the Chamber’s filings in these cases revealed that the arguments it makes in one case often are at odds with the arguments it makes in another case. Indeed, hypocrisy is an almost pervasive feature of the Chamber’s legal filings.
Among the most shocking cases Public Citizen examined, the Chamber:
“By looking at just who the Chamber supports via its litigation, it quickly becomes apparent that the Chamber is not a voice for small business, but rather a force to defend the interests of big business, no matter the cost,” said Lisa Gilbert, Public Citizen’s vice president for legislative affairs.
Added Dan Dudis, director of Public Citizen’s Chamber Watch project and author of the report, “BP, Corinthian, Keystone XL, Buckyballs, fracking, guns at Walmart – the Chamber’s litigation truly is a little shop of horrors. The Chamber will defend almost any corporate bad actor, and it doesn’t hesitate to advance often conflicting arguments from one case to the next.”
Read the report.