When Justice Antonin Scalia passed away earlier this year, the decisions on pending cases entered the unknown. Scalia’s conservative perspective and vote were essential, for example, to corporate defendants in class-action lawsuits. Scalia was considered companies’ most “vigorous ally” by putting class-action litigation in check. Since his passing, the court has declined to hear class-action appeals from a series of companies. With the uncertainty of who will be his replacement and when it will occur, companies are changing their strategy.
According to a Reuters report, the Voice of the Defense Bar (DRI), which files amicus briefs that support companies, has reported fewer inquiries since Scalia’s passing. Companies are rethinking when to involve the court and waiting to see how it will change when the position is filled.
The potential for a progressive replacement and a liberal majority has given hope to consumer advocates, however. They are hopeful that with the change class-action cases in the future will fare well and decisions that favored companies in the past will be reviewed.