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Supreme Court Considers Whether ‘Right To Sue’ Means Only Right To Arbitration

Publication Date: 
October 11, 2011
The Washington Post
Robert Barnes

Professor Michael McConnell, who is representing CompuCredit in CompuCredit Corp. v. Greenwood, is quoted in the below Washington Post article by Robert Barnes on how "Congress has shown its preference for arbitration."

The Supreme Court justices asked the question half a dozen ways: When Congress writes legislation that says, “You have a right to sue,” why doesn’t that mean that consumers have a right to file a lawsuit in court?

And the lawyer on the receiving end of the queries answered each time: Because your precedents say so.


But Michael W. McConnell, a Stanford University law professor representing CompuCredit, said that provided consumers only with a “cause of action,” which was satisfied by arbitration.

Congress has shown its preference for arbitration with the Federal Arbitration Act, McConnell said. “This court has consistently rejected the argument” that federal statutes that create a right to sue override that policy unless they contain a clear statement ruling out arbitration, he said.