Jessica Silver-Greenberg and Robert Gebeloff of the New York Times have a must-read story today, the first of several, on the rise of forced arbitration: "Arbitration Everywhere, Stacking the Deck of Justice." The piece weaves together the history of the silent legal coup achieved by the Chamber and the Roberts Court with stories of the real people whose lives it has changed. And, unlike some previous reporting, it focuses firmly on the principal effect of forced arbitration: the suppression of class-action claims.
Having worked extensively with Silver-Greenberg on this series over the past several months, I can attest that these reporters understand and have explored the issue in greater depth than any previous journalists. I can only hope that this depth and skill of the reporting, and the unique platform of the Times, will translate into a lasting impression on the body politic. This coverage comes at a particularly relevant moment, as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau prepares to roll out a proposed rulemaking on arbitration that could actually fix the problem–at least in the realm of consumer financial contracts. We'll need all the help we can get to prevent Wall Street's friends in Congress from scuttling the new rule.