U.S. Supreme Court Vacancy: Impact on Business

Joshua Jamerson and Brent Kendall reported last week at The Wall Street Journal Online that, “The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia has cast a cloud over the outcome of class-action lawsuits that target businesses, leading Dow Chemical Co. to pay $835 million to settle a case rather than risk an appeal without the conservative justice.

“Dow Chemical’s decision is a signal of worry among businesses with cases before the high court, which could operate without its former 5-4 conservative majority well into next year. Justice Scalia was an ally to companies in their decadeslong push to block multiparty lawsuits such as the one Dow faced.

“A political stalemate between the White House and the Senate over when to fill the seat means the court is more likely to deadlock 4-4, including on such business-related issues as class-action litigation.”

Recall that agricultural reporters have also highlighted the potential impact the vacancy on the court could have on farm issues.

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