Four huge corporate power grabs possibly worse than Citizens United

Court-awarded corporate power is growing beyond the world of campaigns and elections, often at the expense of individual rights and Americans’ ability to bring businesses to court.A handful of recent decisions highlight this less-watched area of corporate clout. In two rulings this year, federal courts have concluded that secular for-profit businesses have First Amendment religious rights. In another ruling, a business that challenged its inclusion in a federal consumer product complaint database won and then successfully sealed federal court records, with the judge saying that protecting the firm’s economic reputation was a higher constitutional priority than keeping court records public.In other instances, federal courts have upheld arbitration agreements that customers must sign for a range of services that include daily necessities, blocking people from going to court when disputes arise. And in the patent law arena, a range of individuals — from farmers who want to protect their seed stock to health advocates concerned about privatized cancer research — have been losing to corporations that have patented seeds and even human genes.Continue Reading…

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Four huge corporate power grabs possibly worse than Citizens United

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