Purdy “The Roberts Court Protects the Powerful for a New Gilded Age” in New York Times, Jun. 28, 2018


Jedediah Purdy, law professor and author of a chapter in Law for the New Economy: Sustainable, Just, and Democratic, (Melissa K. Scanlan ed., May 2017), reacted to Justice Anthony Kennedy’s retirement in his recent opinion in the New York Times.  Focusing on the Supreme Court’s union-crippling decision in Janus v. AFSCME, Purdy details the Roberts Court’s role in the ongoing “dismantling of the legal legacy of the New Deal and the creation of law for a new Gilded Age.” Along with Janus, the Court’s recent decisions upholding Trump’s travel ban and Texas’ racially gerrymandered voting districts are the latest “unhappy reminders that for much of American history, the Supreme Court has been a deeply conservative institution, preserving racial hierarchy and the prerogatives of employers.” Since the 1970s, the Court has refused to address economic inequality while bolstering the outsized power of capital. With an ascendant conservative majority on the Court, Purdy argues, American democracy’s ability to confront the inequality and insecurity powering this New Gilded Age is increasingly thrown into question.

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Purdy “The Roberts Court Protects the Powerful for a New Gilded Age” in New York Times, Jun. 28, 2018