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Lee Epstein
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Lee Epsteing Ethan A.H. Shepley Distinguished University Professor
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WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS, THE RIGHT AND LEFT SIDES OF THE COURT AGREE
Published in 2017. In Washington University Journal of Law & Public Policy 54:33-55

Lee Epstein
William M. Landes
Richard A. Posner

Abstract

Although the conservatives (all Republican appointees) on the Roberts Court are more favorable to business than the liberals (all Democratic appointees), the liberals are hardly anti-business. We show that the four Democratic appointees serving on the Roberts Court are far more business-friendly than Democratic appointees of any other Court era. Even more surprising, the Democrats vote in favor of business at significantly higher rates than Republican appointees in all the other chief justice periods since 1946. Because the current Democratic and Republican appointees support business at record levels, the fraction of unanimous pro-business decisions—the “Business Favorability Index”—has never been higher. What with the left and right side of the bench favoring business at levels unprecedented in the last 70 years, it is fair to continue to characterize the Roberts Court as “pro-business.”

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