Imre S. Szalai

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Emory L. J. Online


The Supreme Court's decision in New Prime Inc. v. Oliveira unveils a panoptic, sweeping view of the past, present, and future role of arbitration in America's civil justice system. Looking back, New Prime stands apart as representing the first decision in decades where the Supreme Court has ruled in favor of workers and rejected an expansive interpretation of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA). One can also understand the decision in the context of the current sociopolitical environment. In the wake of the #MeToo movement, the Trump presidency, and the contentious confirmation hearings of Justice Brett Kavanaugh, there has been a backlash against the widespread use of forced arbitration. Looking to the future, New Prime suggests a new approach for courts to interpret the FAA, and the case raises larger questions about the scope of the FAA, access to justice, federalism, and the future role of arbitration in America.

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