Could Amy Coney Barrett be good for Apple?

From Daren Fonda’s “A Right-Leaning Court Will Tackle Some Big Business Cases. The Outcomes Aren’t Obvious” ($) in this week’s Barron’s:

Beyond this term, the court’s new makeup could have a major impact on the tech industry. The Department of Justice may be close to filing an antitrust case against Alphabet. A suit against Facebook may be coming, and antitrust probes are underway against Apple is also on the defense, after the court allowed a class-action case to proceed involving claims of anticompetitive pricing at its App Store.

Court rulings are unpredictable, of course, and the breakdown isn’t always between conservatives and liberals. President Trump’s last two appointees split in the Apple case, with Brett Kavanaugh joining the liberal wing and Neil Gorsuch dissenting.

“A conservative philosophy doesn’t necessarily mean a pro-business outcome,” says William Jay, a partner at law firm Goodwin and a former clerk for Antonin Scalia. “Business cases don’t divide the court the way that high-profile 5-4 decisions on constitutional or social issues do, and there are cases in which conservative justices vote against business interests….”

Conservatives such as Barrett tend to be more skeptical of regulatory powers and aim to roll back “deference” to federal agencies—the practice of granting them latitude to interpret laws and impose remedies and fines. That deference, stemming from a 1984 Supreme Court case involving Chevron (CVX), has been challenged repeatedly by conservative groups. Antitrust claims may also face steeper hurdles since conservatives tend to set a higher bar for proving economic harm, according to Joel Mitnick, an antitrust expert at law firm Cadwalader.

My take: Amy Coney Barrett is to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Clarence Thomas is to Thurgood Marshall.


  1. Bruce Oran said:
    Without allowing politics into it, I think Judge Barrett has a wonderful opportunity to evolve. She is only 48 and conceivably could be on the court for another 4 decades, I dare say it will be a different world. Though her large number of children might betray a leaning in reproductive rights, it might also show that she just has a big heart. When her Haitian child comes running home from school because of taunting from other children, what do you think her view will be of racial equality that day or the first , second , third time the young adult is pulled over for a broken tail light? We cannot stop this nomination, so I am inclined to hope for the best.

    September 28, 2020
    • Gregg Thurman said:
      Broken taillight violations seem trivial, but the consequences of not being properly illuminated (evidenced by today’s expansive rear lighting) and displaying a white light to the rear, also a violation (impairs night vision).

      These are fixit tickets, not criminal summonses.

      That stopping motorists leads to arrests is a by-product. Example: the law enforcement agency responsible for the most felony arrests in any State is their Highway Patrol, not local police or sheriffs.

      September 28, 2020
      • Kirk DeBernardi said:
        @ Gregg Thurman —

        Big myopic swing and a miss there Gregg.

        Regarding your statement concerning broken taillight violations:

        “These are fixit tickets, not criminal summonses.”

        Not necessarily if you’re someone of color.

        That’s the point.

        September 30, 2020
  2. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. Could Amy Coney Barrett be good for Apple?”

    The answer is an unequivocally “yes!”

    September 28, 2020
  3. Gregg Thurman said:
    “…. Could Amy Coney Barrett be good for Apple?”
    The answer is an unequivocally “yes!”

    Tempted, but not going there.

    September 28, 2020
  4. Steven Philips said:
    Good for Apple? Who cares? There are so many other criteria that she fails!
    Evolve? Fat chance! She has an agenda.
    I could make a bunch more negative comments – but I’ll spare y’all.
    Beyond this, I’ll take Gregg’s cue. Not going there.

    September 28, 2020
  5. Jim Fournier said:
    “ My take: Amy Coney Barrett is to Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Clarence Thomas is to Thurgood Marshall.”

    September 29, 2020

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