Judiciary Unchecked

When Hamilton was writing Federalist Paper 78, he probably wasn’t thinking of video games.  Instead, he was most likely more focused on pertinent issues like appeasing Anti-Federalists and figuring out a legitimate court system.  But a recent rule change regarding Sony’s PlayStation Network security breach that accidentally (whoops) “exposed details of 77 million users,” aligns perfectly with what Hamilton wanted to reassure the Anti-Federalists of: that the Supreme Court was fair and only meant to uphold the Constitution. Instead, it looks like the Supreme Court may need another check.

After the Sony security breach, a class action lawsuit was filed in April, and Sony soon changed its user agreement to protect its own back.  This contract update says if another class action suit is filed, a user must send a written letter to be included, as opposed to being automatically opted in. Basically, Sony is working to save it’s own butt for next time it screws up.

CNN claims that Sony only changed its user agreement to take advantage of a different Supreme Court ruling that actually allowed AT&T Mobile to block class action lawsuits from its own workers in April. Sony’s press release says that their new agreement benefits “both the consumer and the company,” but it looks like big business is in for the win.

And this has to do with Hamilton’s thoughts in 1788 how?

If it seems like the Supreme Court is benefitting big business and forgetting about the Average Joes, then there needs to be a legislative response.  However, Hamilton seemed so confident that the Supreme Court was harmless, and only there to judge. In Federalist Paper 78 he even remarked “It may truly be said to have neither force nor will, but merely judgment; and must ultimately depend upon the aid of the executive arm even for the efficacy of its judgments.”  But this looks to be not so true anymore.  Yes, the Supreme Court can’t execute laws like the President.  But there is still a tangible effect from their decisions that may be more than Hamilton planned.


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