Sen. Jon Kyl (R-AZ), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, appeared on Hugh Hewitt’s radio show yesterday to discuss Elena Kagan’s Supreme Court nomination. Kyl complained that during the hearing, Democrats attempted to paint the Supreme Court led by Chief Justice John Roberts as “coming down on the side of big business“:
HH: With Chief Justice Roberts, was any review of those documents held by a — for example, the senior minority member of the Judiciary Committee?
JK: No. No, not to my knowledge, no.
HH: How did the first day go?
JK: Pretty much as expected. Republicans raised appropriate questions. It was respectful. She noted that all of her meetings with Senators have been courteous. Democrats primarily not only applauded her for having a wonderful background and being a great person, but also took the opportunity to slam what they call the Roberts Court and its activism in coming down on the side of big business repeatedly at the expense of the little guy. All a fraudulent claim, but that’s what they’re arguing.
Of course, the Senate Democrats’ arguments were far from “fraudulent.” The Roberts court has been one of the most pro-corporate in history. A recent study from the Constitutional Accountability Center documented how the court “has a decidedly probusiness tilt.” Demonstrating this bent, the court last week strengthened corporations’ power to force their customers and employees into biased, privatized courts whenever a dispute arises between them.
And, the court’s far-right voting bloc famously upended precedent to defend corporations’ supposed right to spend unlimited sums on elections in Citizens United. Today, in a piece on Roberts’ dramatic impact on the court, the New York Times said that decision “showed great solicitude to the interests of corporations.”