The 1% Court

September 27, 2012
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC, 20016
Room 603


In 1971, then corporate lawyer Lewis Powell urged business to take an active stance against the “Attack on [the] American Free Enterprise System,” as his memo was entitled. He urged business to use an “activist-minded Supreme Court” and other avenues to effect “social, economic, and political change.” That strategy has been very successful.

The Nation magazine will publish an issue on September 19, 2012 on “The 1% Court,” which will include historical, analytical, and prescriptive takes on the pro-corporate agenda of the Supreme Court. The issue will feature articles by Bill Moyers, Katrina Vanden Heuvel, The Nation editor and publisher, WCL faculty and others.

Taking the Powell Memo as its starting point, the overall argument of the issue will be that over the past four decades, the Supreme Court has gradually – and at times, not so gradually – shifted to favor the interests of corporations over those of workers, consumers, voters, and “the 99%” in general. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its litigation arm, the National Chamber Litigation Center (NCLC), have adopted Powell’s advice with gusto, playing an active role in representing corporate interests in federal litigation, by filing or intervening in suits, as well as by filing amicus briefs at the certiorari stage and at the merits stage before the Supreme Court and the lower courts.

Presented by the Program on Law and Government, the Alliance for Justice and Nation Institute





WCL Alumni, AU & WCL Students, Faculty & Staff – no charge
General Public - No Charge
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For further information, please contact:
Office of Special Events & Continuing Legal Education
American University Washington College of Law
Phone: 202.274.4075; Fax: 202.274.4079; or



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