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Table: The Bush Bench

Class Actions

Bush's nominees will make it harder for plaintiffs' attorneys to get class actions started. They'll also be skeptical of expert testimony that defense lawyers attack as "junk science." This could be a boon to high-tech, health-care, and other industries prone to class actions.


The President's nominees are likely to be less sympathetic to workers' rights than Clinton's. Discrimination and harassment suits will be harder to bring in their courtrooms, while mandatory arbitration clauses will be more frequently honored.

Property Rights

There will be an increase in the number of judges supportive of arguments that environmental laws and zoning ordinances constitute unlawful property "takings" under the Fifth Amendment. This could help the real estate industry and natural resources companies.

Red Tape

Look for judges who will be less deferential to state and federal agencies and more willing to hear the complaints of regulated industries. It will probably be easier for companies to attack regulations by arguing that costs exceed the benefits.

Data: BusinessWeek

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